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Re: Help with son's critical, unkind words and outbursts

jenstarc4
 

--- In AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com, "mauratracy" <Maura@...> wrote:

If one of my kids called a friend "stupid," I
would pull my child aside immediately and say it's not okay to say
"stupid."
I have said this many times. It doesn't change his behavior.
I've sent kids home and told them directly that Margaux was having a
hard time being nice and that it wasn't fair to them if they were being
treated meanly, and that clearly Margaux needed a break. Sometimes the
break is for the rest of the day, and sometimes it only takes a few
minutes or an hour of recouping and refreshing.


No, I did not see this behavior, except that I know how he thinks,
and what he shares with me. He's super critical, and always compares
everyone. He talks about who is the worst player, and shares his
criticisms of other with us after games and practices. He also, though,
does talk about how good some players are. >>>

Perhaps you need to have more dialog about sportsmanship and sports
abilities, and rephrase the way he says things so that he has a better
way to say things, than the very negative way that he does.


That's what's so tough about him, always has been....he's
challenging, but not enough to say, "Well, my son has - fill in the
blank - and can't play team sports," or something. If he calls a
teammate an idiot (not saying he did) once, it might not necessitate
pulling him, and not if he says it twice, but what about if he says it
three times? Do you see the difficulty? >>>

Just because other kids banter and can treat each other cruely, does not
give ANYone else an excuse to do so too. I've told both of my girls
that they have the power to set the tone. Kids will follow positive
others just as easily as following negative others.

I'm sorry, but I laughed big time when I read this. Anyone who knows
Jesse would laugh out loud too. I can't imagine how to discourage Jesse
from speaking. I'm not unwilling, I just need to know what that would
look like. >>>

If your son says something rude or loud or insensitive, can you rephrase
it in a better way, or encourage him to see positive things in others
before the negative ones. Sometimes kids, and adults, get used to
seeing what is bad about people first, instead of what is good about
people. Everytime he says something negative you could counter it with
a "maybe, but so and so is sooo awesome at ____". Sometimes, it's true
that if you don't have something nice to say, you should say nothing at
all.


Re: Balance

carenkh
 

-=-I realize she didn't really need help but just wanted my attention. Between my other obligations and my personal feelings at the moment I just wasn't able to give it to her. I did spend some time with her it just wasn't as long as she wanted.-=-

The word "just" here popped out to me, as if you were dismissing the need for attention. Your attention is YOU. By your attention, you are giving yourself to your daughter, which is what she needs to thrive. I had some old thinking to get rid of in this area, as well - my Mom's generation was taught that it's harmful to pick up a crying child, and "too much attention" is a very bad thing to give your baby (or child). It didn't take me very long after my oldest's birth to realize those beliefs were b.s. - but it took me a longer to implement the new belief in my actions. "Oh! I have to give *of myself*?" Scary, in some ways - but OK!

I've come to realize that my kids need ME, not just in the same room, not just nearby, but by my attention and interaction - my full self.

-=-I specifically designed my business so I could be with my children. I feel like they have benefited from me doing this even though it means I can't always give them the time and attention they want.-=-

It's not want, it's NEED. And, you've stated clearly you're not *with* your children. You're occupying the same space, but YOU - your attention, your energy - are not with them. You spend time each morning and evening and at naptime - but if you are not available when your child needs you (as determined by your child, not you) - you're creating mistrust.

I believe you believe you're doing the best you can, but awareness that you're making these choices is very powerful.

Caren


Re: Balance

shepherdlass
 

In a message dated 06/04/2009 18:22:59 GMT Standard Time,
AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com writes:

But you will build up a new self-image as a parent that will drift farther
and farther away from these concerns, where you will have the confidence to
know what is right. And then you'll see more clearly what other people are
doing that undermines their relationships with their children, and rather than
feeling insecure you might even feel some pity towards them, because you can
see where they are headed.

Joanna



Thanks so much for these thoughts, Joanna, and to everyone else who's
responded to my query. I'm taking baby steps at present and glad for all the
advice and reassurance here.

Regarding the adults who questioned my decision, their response was less
deliberately critical - more puzzled and lacking understanding. At present, I
don't think I have the confidence, experience or vocabulary to enlighten
them, but hopefully this will change as we relax (at last!) into life away from
school.

Jude


Re: Help with son's critical, unkind words and outbursts

jenstarc4
 

One thing, though, seems to have gotten worse, his impulsive words
and expressions. He is, so I'm told by my friends, pretty good with
them, like when he's at a sleepover with them or something, he's
respectful. But at home with us, his parents and brother, he's really
tough to take. He says to us all manner of hurtful things all the time.
Examples are, "Duh." "Shut the frick up." "You're fat." "Stupid lady."
"You're such an idiot." And sings about his brother, at the top of his
lungs, "Boogie's an idiot." And please forgive me for posting this one,
it's so crass to me, but helps illustrate the extent of this issue,
"Suck my butt." >>>

A few years back, Chamille and I were meeting another mom and daughter
for the first time, in a public place. Chamille was behaving somewhat
aggressively towards me. It made me uncomfortable, even though I knew
she was doing it in a teasing sort of way. I made an excuse to find an
ATM machine and had Chamille walk with me to find it. I asked her to
please not do what she was doing because it embarrassed me and made me
uncomfortable, and that she had probably given a very unfavorable
impression of herself to these new potential friends.

She hadn't even been aware that she was doing something potentially
damaging. She stopped doing what she had been doing, and we went back
and had a pleasant rest of the visit, in which she was extra kind to me.
I honestly believe that we never saw those folks again because of that
incident.

Here's the thing, it's our job to help our kids navigate the social
world. If a kid is having difficulty doing this, perhaps the kid isn't
ready to be out there so much. If the kid is really wanting social
outlets and is still doing mean and hurtful things, the parent needs to
step in and navigate with the kid.

Margaux tends to be more like this than Chamille ever was. Some kids
are more empathic naturally than others. I still supervise and oversee
many of Margaux's social interactions, there are only a few kids that
she can navigate solo. When she starts getting mean and aggressive, I
pull her aside, lure her, or simply ask her to come with me to another
location for a minute.

I hug her up and sympathize with the situation she is dealing with, give
her a chance to explain her frustration, then we find some ways to solve
it. When she is calm again, she goes back to playing with her new
solutions in hand to use. It almost always works. Sometimes, for
whatever reason, she's too tired, too hungry, too whatever, and she gets
right back in the thick of things. When that happens, I jump in and
take over the social situation entirely. That could mean that I find a
different activity for them, or I lay out some ground rules that will
avoid the conflict.

I have talked to him, when he's saying he can't help it, about
quickly apologizing, like saying, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say
that." He never does that, but instead says, "Just kidding." I think it
hurts him/scares him so much to have this thing he can't control that
it's hard to admit, so he instead takes on this clown nature,
everything's a joke. I personally, even though I can articulate an
understanding of how this comes to be, end up seeing him sometimes as a
jerk - who would joke *like that*; it's not funny.>>>

It's only funny if everyone is laughing, otherwise, it's a bad joke. A
good comedian can gauge his audience.


I did talk to her after, and told her I understand her frustration,
but wished she had come to me, and not confronted him directly (they
have no relationship; we don't know her at all). She was very apologetic
for that, said she was just so upset that here her son was crying, even
after a game they won, hurt by something/s my son said.>>>

I think the other mother had every right to do that, and I think
sometimes it's extremely helpful for kids to hear from other people, not
just their parents. If the mother was kind about it, not yelling, or
shaming, she actually did your son a favor. Part of getting along in
the world is dealing with other people, and for a kid that includes not
only kids, but the parents of those kids. The other mother treated your
child as another individual, not just some kid, hence not coming to you
first.


Re: Help with son's critical, unkind words and outbursts

Kris <kris1956@...>
 

On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 11:57 PM, mauratracy <Maura@mikulec.com> wrote:


I see this (the implied blame), and if I'm capable, may want to see if this
can help us, but it seems counter to what others may say - not sure yet -
and so will take it all in, and see

I tried to explain myself better in a response to Sandra, I botched this in
my first post. I don't mean that input stops just that instead of the more
constant reminders to use deeper conversation and calmer, more receptive
moments.



In retrospect it was his bond with
us that curbed his behavior and I think that the "reminding" and
"teaching"
only acted as an interference with that bond.
This may be really helpful for me to have heard. Jesse and I have a deep
bond, but I do wonder how much tension it will bear.

Boy, oh boy, I can relate. There have been moments when I wondered how I
could possibly continue to be around him, not that I would ever give up,
just couldn't see how I would manage. One of the things that happened to me
was while I was watching a documentary about the Spartans and the kind of
"training" they underwent from a young age.

I realized that Jonathan would endure this harshness MUCH better than I
could, that it probably would have meant death to my temperament. Even more
important I attained a new insight into how much of a struggle it is for him
to fit into a peaceful environment; the warrior learning to be a dove.

This, in a round about way, gave me a new appreciation for him and better
understanding of our differences. Our bond got stronger for many reasons
I'm sure but I have to believe that appreciation comes through and the more
I value who he is without blame the more he values others.

Kris

--
If God is satisfied with the work, the work may be satisfied with itself.

CS Lewis

I haz a blog, u can reedz it!
www.krisspeed.blogspot.com


Re: Balance

Joanna Murphy <ridingmom@...>
 

Thank you all so much for the advice - it's really appreciated. I must
admit this was my gut instinct, and my daughter's already gone to 3 rehearsals
without me there. But I have been feeling increasingly undermined by the
other adults there (who I see when I drop Jess off and pick her up). They've
made it clear that they see me as a total wimp because I acquiesced to my
child's wishes.
As I read this, it brings me back to feeling this way in the beginnings of unschooling. The more you shift the way you think about things, the less this stuff will bug you. It bugs you more right now because you don't have the track record yet of looking back and seeing the power (vs. wimpiness) that these decisions will have in your relationship with your daughter.

But you will build up a new self-image as a parent that will drift farther and farther away from these concerns, where you will have the confidence to know what is right. And then you'll see more clearly what other people are doing that undermines their relationships with their children, and rather than feeling insecure you might even feel some pity towards them, because you can see where they are headed.

Joanna


Re: Balance

Joanna Murphy <ridingmom@...>
 

Thank you all so much for the advice - it's really appreciated. I must
admit this was my gut instinct, and my daughter's already gone to 3 rehearsals
without me there. But I have been feeling increasingly undermined by the
other adults there (who I see when I drop Jess off and pick her up). They've
made it clear that they see me as a total wimp because I acquiesced to my
child's wishes.
As I read this, it brings me back to feeling this way in the beginnings of unschooling. The more you shift the way you think about things, the less this stuff will bug you. It bugs you more right now because you don't have the track record yet of looking back and seeing the power (vs. wimpiness) that these decisions will have in your relationship with your daughter.

But you will build up a new self-image as a parent that will drift farther and farther away from these concerns, where you will have the confidence to know what is right. And then you'll see more clearly what other people are doing that undermines their relationships with their children, and rather than feeling insecure you might even feel some pity towards them, because you can see where they are headed.

Joanna


Re: Help with son's critical, unkind words and outbursts

Kris <kris1956@...>
 

Yeah, I didn't phrase this well. What I meant was that I gave up the role
of micro manager or "constant" reminder. This, in no way, means that there
wasn't consistent communication, we have many and regular conversations
about his behavior and what is not "okay". The difference is that I wait
for calm and receptive moments when he can actually "hear" me, preferably
when HE brings up the topic (he usually WANTS to talk about negative
encounters).

One of the main issues with Jonathan (and it seems the same with other kids
I've known who are like him) is that they have many times when they just
can't listen, there is way too much emotion/adrenaline. These are also the
times when they tend to lash out, it's useless to begin talking about how
other people are feeling at that time.

Yes, I do remove him from others if at all possible and have explained that
it's not fair to let people be treated badly. He understands that I won't
invite people over if he doesn't treat them well. But by a certain age and
understanding it has all been said and he knows what is harmful and why it
is harmful and that it's not okay. He also knows that just because I
haven't said something in the moment does not equal my approval.

Because of his age and understanding our conversations have moved on from
what is not okay, he knows that. It has moved on to how words impact others
and how his actions earn him a reputation and what kind of relationships he
wants to have with people. I tell him how I cringe when I hear him being
rude to a friend and how I try to see other kids with the same concern I
have for him, that I feel so much sadness that his friend might feel like he
really IS stupid.

At some point kids move beyond our immediate control and they are able to
leave and see others without us. I can't control that and I HAVE to let him
choose how things happen. Sometimes it means that he finds friends who tend
to be rude as well and I have to hope that the glaring difference between
that atmosphere and the one he knows at home will be a motivation to choose
peaceful and beneficial friendships.

With my oldest there were behavior issues but never aggression and she
became socially adept by age 6. She got how to treat people and it was
easy. Jonathan was different from day one, he was aggressive, emotional and
unaware of others feelings. I've had to learn to appreciate him in spite of
my own dismay and let him encounter the painful consequences of his actions
(natural not manufactured).

Kris

On Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 5:33 AM, Sandra Dodd <Sandra@sandradodd.com> wrote:

-=-It was the only thing I was sure of at the time, I knew how the
folks her
would advise me. Be genuine, don't make up reactions in order to "teach"
him, give up the role of his reminder. -=-

I wouldn't have said that.
-=- Be genuine, don't make up reactions in order to "teach" him-=-

Yes, I might've said that.

-=-give up the role of his reminder.-=-

I wouldn't have said that. When parents ignore problems, they give
tacit approval.

When parents take a problem out of the house and ignore it in public,
they give tacit approval for the harm that comes to others. More than
that, they aid and abet the abusive person. They team up with an
abuser.

There are things that don't work. Yelling and hitting don't help.

"The role of reminder" implies that the problem goes on and on and on
and on the same way, with the parent giving the same reminders over
and over and over and over. Part of being genuine is finding words to
say that communicate what the problem is and WHY it needs to stop, and
what the parent will change until it does stop.

If my husband called people stupid and asked other people to laugh at
others, I wouldn't go to parties with him. I wouldn't invite people
over to our house.

If I had a best friend who said things like "Duh," "Shut the frick
up," "You're fat," "Stupid lady," or "You're such an idiot," I
wouldn't meet them in public for lunch, and I wouldn't invite other
people over to hang out at the same time, but it's not a good
example. I wouldn't HAVE a friend who said things like that, not
without me saying clearly and unequivocably that she needed to STOP
being that way.


Sandra
--
If God is satisfied with the work, the work may be satisfied with itself.

CS Lewis

I haz a blog, u can reedz it!
www.krisspeed.blogspot.com


Re: Balance

 

-=- She looked at
me and said "I have no reason to be sneaky." and it's true, she doesn't.
Today is Chamille's birthday, she's 15! I love spending time with her,
and today I get to celebrate her!-=-

Very sweet. Thanks for sharing that.

Many of your stories sounded very familiar here. <g> There are teens
who confide in my kids as though they were adults, knowing the kids
will talk to me. We're like a resource team of counsellors sometimes!

Sandra


Re: Balance

jenstarc4
 

My parents are good parents. They worked long and hard all of my
childhood to give us what we had and I respect them for that. They were
also unavailable parents. Physically they were at home very seldom,
leaving us four kids to spend many hours every day without adult
supervision. They were also emotionally unavailable in terms of being
able to have deep and meaningful relationships with their children. >>>

I was struck yesterday by the thought that there are so many parents
like this, that really have NO idea what their children are going
through. It's not a new thought, but it hit me differently yesterday.

Chamille met a new girl yesterday. She's a nice kid, but clearly in the
adult avoidance category. I was thinking about how kids get grounded
from their friends, yet they can go to school and see those very kids
they are grounded from. It was an interesting thought to me, it's one
reason why school might be a better place for kids who have parents that
punish. It's one place to go and be free of that to some extent.

I was thinking about another friend of Chamille's, who's mother, I like
even if we don't always see eye to eye on parenting issues. She really
really likes a mutual friend of our daughters, yet she doesn't really
know this girl the way I've come to know her simply because the kids
talk to me about things that they don't talk to the other mom about.
The other mom encourages this friendship, and I can see many reasons not
to because the girl stirs up drama, drama that she hides from adults,
even from me.

So many parents really have don't know anything that goes on in the
lives of their teens. It's shocking really. Chamille kept me company
while I washed dishes last night, while she carried on a phone
conversation with a boy she likes. I got to be included in the
conversation here and there. I was thinking about how I would've gone
to my room to have a private conversation when I was that age, but here,
my daughter is open and honest and has nothing to hide, and in fact
encourages my involvment in her social life.

Yesterday, her friend was going to sneak off to see a boy with the guise
of seeing Chamille. I don't know if she did or not, but I told Chamille
how glad I am that she doesn't sneak off to visit boys. She looked at
me and said "I have no reason to be sneaky." and it's true, she doesn't.
Today is Chamille's birthday, she's 15! I love spending time with her,
and today I get to celebrate her!


Am I unschooling?

Jimi Ann Vane <jimi.jane@...>
 

Hi Pam and Sandra, everyone. I think I'm unschooling! :)

Each of the children wanted a raised vegetable bed of their own in the yard,
so we let them each build their own (as far as they were able, depending on
their ages), and they each picked out a color to paint there box. I have
been reading John Holt's Teach Your Own book, and realized through that (and
this list) that I've been "directing" the children too much. I decided to
bite my tongue and just watch. I didn't realize how difficult this would be
for me!

George (my 5 year old) had a blast painting his box bright blue. He set the
paint can down on the grass kind of far away from his garden box. He'd dip
the brush in the paint, then carry it all the way over to the box, dripping
paint the whole way, then slosh a little on (not much paint left on the
brush by this time), and did that over and over. I wanted so bad to suggest
he take the can over to where the box was and he wouldn't waste as much
paint. But he was having so much fun this way! He was really enjoying
watching the patterns he was making on the grass while he carried the brush
over to the box. Then on his own he moved the paint can closer eventually.
When he was done, he left the paint can open. I wanted to show him that he
needed to put the top back on, clean it up, and make everything nice and
tidy. But I refrained. In the meantime, he was intently watching Michael
(his 7 year old brother). He saw Michael carefully clean up his area (It's
Michael's personality to be orderly and he has always paid attention to
detail). He saw Michael putting his paint lid on and looking around for
something to bang it shut with. Then George did the same thing, very
carefully, on his own.

Maybe this doesn't sound like much, but what a revelation to me! And how
refreshing and calming for me to not feel like I've got to "teach" them how
to do everything. They just know. And if they don't know, who cares?!
They have their own ways of doing things, and it doesn't have to be like my
way. A lot of times their ways are better!

After the garden boxes, the little boys decided it was time to give the
chicken coop a fresh coat of paint. What a blast! They ran to the chicken
house and glopped white paint all over it, and managed to paint a few other
things on the way! We have some beautifully painted big rocks and some nice
artwork on a tree now for memories.

They're talking about what vegetables, flowers or herbs they want to plant
in their boxes. Again, it's difficult for me to let them choose on their
own. The test will come when they're planting them, IF they decide to, and
me not directing them unless they ask for help. You know, another side
benefit is that the little one, George, is quickly learning how to ask for
help if he wants it.

It is also beautiful to see them expressing their little personalities,
likes and dislikes. In the setting we were in before, as I shared in one of
my first posts, it was very controlling, and I felt the children repressed
their individuality while attending the little "Amish" school there.
They're once again blossoming and I feel like doing the Snoopy dance, with
my arms outstretched, my head up, and spinning around. It's just delightful
to discover with them and to let them be free!

There's a quote from the John Holt book that stuck with me and is so true.
I can't seem to find it in the book right now, but the idea is this,
"Intelligence is not measured by how much we know how to do, it's how we
behave when we don't know what to do." (I'm paraphrashing, as I'm sure he
says it much clearer. Isn't that a great one? That I may I apply that to
myself and in the way I interact with the children, is my desire.

I'm enjoying this list, and gleaning a lot from the posts and links to
articles. I'm amazed at how far off we strayed from our natural learning way
of life th past couple of years, and am so grateful to be getting back on
the right track for our family. Pam and Sandra, I appreciate you both. :)
Blessings on your day today, Jimi Ann


Re: Another Question about Honesty

Jessica <patchworkgirl@...>
 

When I was younger, I didn't know what was "safe" to talk about re: health issues.. some members of my family felt it necessary to "protect" others from worry & I'm not sure what they thought they were accomplishing that way. When my mom had cancer in 1980 they were reluctant to tell my grandma about it, but eventually did tell her. She cried about it & said something along the lines of "of course you have to tell me!" There's nothing to be gained keeping important stuff secret from people we're close to.

When I was growing up, my dad had mental health issues & my parents weren't open about it. All I knew was for some reason he didn't feel good & we had to go home. Sometimes we were on an afternoon visit to friends, sometimes we were on a vacation. I remember one time, when I was in my 20s my parents came home early from a trip to Russia. Later on, I figured out what was going on, he had anxiety issues & probably issues w/depression as well. It was frustrating & confusing to me to ask him "what's the matter?" only to get "I don't feel good" without knowing what he MEANT by that... I even tried asking him to be more descriptive & never got anything more than "I just don't feel good" or "I need to be in my own bed" (or at home or something along those lines)...

With my guys, we've always been pretty open about what's going on with health issues & they saw a bit of illness and even death among our pets, as well as things that just happen...

Their dad has problems with depression & anxiety & they more or less understand what's going on because he never really hid it. We've had some rough times & I don't think it would have worked to hide what was going on from them. I think it might have been helpful if my parents had been open about what was going on with my dad... stuff like this is what kids can keep in their minds if they need it.

So rather than wondering "why daddy won't go places with us very often" & being annoyed about it (that's how I felt growing up), they more or less accept it & at first were annoyed by it but they're more used to it now. We're still trying to find something that works for him, so I don't have any answers/happy endings at this writing.

I always think about how *I* would feel if someone kept a fact as big as a serious illness (terminal or not) from me. Someone I don't know well is one thing, but someone I trust and share a close relationship with? That would hurt. I think it hurts children too.

Things hidden for the sake of "protecting" someone often leave them feeling hurt and/or bewildered when they find out how long they were kept in the dark. I wouldn't want to be a part of that type of behavior. My family and I have navigated difficult passages more than once, we'll keep doing it together....open and honest.
Cheers,
Jessica
(mom of 4 boys, 14, 14, 11 & 7)


Re: Another Question about Honesty

 

-=- There's nothing to be gained keeping important stuff secret from
people we're close to.-=-

Sometimes there is, but it should be the choice of those with the
information.

I attended my dad's funeral not with my new boyfriend, but with my not-
yet-divorced first husband, who knew my dad, whom my dad had liked.
(My dad wouldn't have liked him if he'd known as much as I know now,
but that was then.)

We didn't use the occasion of a funeral, burial and gathering later to
let my grandmother know we were separated. I wore his suit coat
because it was cold. I introduced him to people he hadn't met. I
made sure he was comfortable. He comforted me.

We didn't lie, we didn't make stories of future plans. We withheld
information in those places on that day. People were there to say
goodbye to my daddy, and to tell me and my sister they were sorry, and
to comfort his widow and newly adopted son and daughter (her young
children).

-= Things hidden for the sake of "protecting" someone often leave them
feeling hurt and/or bewildered when they find out how long they were
kept in the dark.=-

There have been times people said "We didn't tell you the other day,
because you were already busy with [whatever it was]. " And when
people who love me decide to wait to tell me about a death or about an
impending problem I can't really personally fix right then, I take it
as love and compassion. I wasn't hurt or bewildered.

-= I wouldn't want to be a part of that type of behavior. My family
and I have navigated difficult passages more than once, we'll keep
doing it together....open and honest.-=-

There have been times I waited a few hours or a day to tell Keith
about a problem with one of the kids because he was stressed or sick
or injured himself.

I don't think any blanked rules about always telling or never telling
or letting grandparents make decisions for adult children are good. I
think in each instance of communication, the communicator should make
mindful, thoughtful choices personalized to the hearers and their
situations and abilities to understand or accept.

Sandra


Re: Help with son's critical, unkind words and outbursts

 

-=-i found that the constant negative feedback with regard to his
impulse control issues and intense feelings was incredibly erosive to
his self esteem and it fed the cycle you described of "clowning" and
even more scornful or hurtful/aggravating behavior, because he felt
uncomfortable, embarrassed, or bad about himself. -=-

And that's the kind of damage school can do to kids.
Sometimes homeschooling needs to involve more home, especially for
young kids, and let them move out gradually and confidently.

Sandra


Re: Balance

Karen Hsu <kcbhsu@...>
 

I was at the randomizer the other day, and this came up:
http://sandradodd.com/president

This passage gets around to the same point.

Here are my goals for my children: I want them to learn something every day.
I want them to greet the morning with joy. I want them to see strangers as
potential friends. I want their lives to be adventures without a map, where
there are innumerable destinations, and unlimited opportunities for success.
I want their definition of success to include things they can see all around
them, not just in Washington, not just at medical conventions, or the
Olympics. I want them to wake up, look out the window, and be glad of the
view. I want them to be content with their choices and their abilities. I
want them to be realistic about goals and philosophical about failure. I
want them to be happy.

A friend of mine, whose son was about 2 at the time, once told me that her
goal as a parent was to have her children be the type of children that
adults enjoy being around. It's always made me uncomfortable, and when I
read this essay, it made me realize that if instead she focused on the goals
Sandra's listed, then everyone (not just adults) would most likely enjoy
being around her kids.

On Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 8:49 AM, Sandra Dodd <Sandra@sandradodd.com> wrote:



So not "to produce" great adults," but to enable great people to stay
great and become even greater, with confidence in the natural
abilities to learn and to be helpful and aware.



Re: Another Question about Honesty

 

-=-In the absence of a direct request from the person who is dying, it
wouldn't occur to me to keep a secret. I'm just saying that I can
imagine a situation where I would delay telling them for a while, given
a direct request from the person in question. I don't know - maybe I
wouldn't feel that way if this really came up - that's the problem with
dealing in hypotheticals. I'm just not going to judge someone else as
wrong who did make that decision because I can imagine how it could be
my choice, given certain circumstances.-=-

It could be your preference or your request, if you were dying, that
others not share that fact.
But can it really, fairly be your "choice"?

And if someone else told me "Tell your kids I'm dying," I might choose
NOT to honor that "choice" or request, if I didn't think it was going
to be beneficial to my kids to know that.

Sandra


Projecting control? (was Re: I'm Bored

 

-=- It ended with the woman (in her 40's) feeling sad because she had
always wanted to graduate from high school and never did and how
tragic that I was depriving my children of that opportunity.-=-

Two stories:

A friend of mine from my hometown/school has two boys and a wife who's
wonderfully smart, speaks and writes Chinese, is an expert on Tibetan
Buddhism and runs a bookstore.

Their boys hated school and were being damaged by it, clearly. They
unschooled for a year or two, and she pressed for them to go to a very
expensive alternative school instead, because she never graduated from
high school.

A woman Holly works with has a baby and has to leave work in time to
pick her up from the caregiver, who charges $5 a minute for those who
arrive late. (I'd find another place to leave the baby.) Holly
told her she/Holly didn't really plan to go to college, but might want
to later. The woman reacted very strongly and negatively to the very
idea that Holly would be calm about choosing anything other than
college.

There's an odd emotion involved in pressuring others to do what one
didn't do.

Sandra


Re: Balance

 

-=Not to say that we should unschool with the purpose of producing
these great adults =-

I think it's a great purpose! To help a child grow up without damage
and shame and harm and fear and labels is Big!

To treat a child as a real, whole person even before she's 18, before
she's sixteen, before she's 12? Can people DO that?! :-)


So not "to produce" great adults," but to enable great people to stay
great and become even greater, with confidence in the natural
abilities to learn and to be helpful and aware.

Sandra


Re: Help with son's critical, unkind words and outbursts

 

-=-> the last thing that i have found that's been helpful in our own
home is to just be more >quiet myself in my interactions with him.

-=-I think the opposite would be said about Jesse. He may, if
anything, need more from me.-=-

The suggestion wasn't to give him less attention. It was to respond to
him quietly. Gently.

The two posts thanking people for empathy suggest that you came here
for approval more than for help. I hope I'm wrong.

Some moms do want ideas for changing situations. Some moms want other
moms to say "Don't worry; it's not your fault at all."

I have this list for the former, and I have this for the latter:
http://sandradodd.com/support

Sandra


Re: Help with son's critical, unkind words and outbursts

 

-=-It was the only thing I was sure of at the time, I knew how the
folks her
would advise me. Be genuine, don't make up reactions in order to "teach"
him, give up the role of his reminder. -=-

I wouldn't have said that.
-=- Be genuine, don't make up reactions in order to "teach" him-=-

Yes, I might've said that.

-=-give up the role of his reminder.-=-

I wouldn't have said that. When parents ignore problems, they give
tacit approval.

When parents take a problem out of the house and ignore it in public,
they give tacit approval for the harm that comes to others. More than
that, they aid and abet the abusive person. They team up with an
abuser.

There are things that don't work. Yelling and hitting don't help.

"The role of reminder" implies that the problem goes on and on and on
and on the same way, with the parent giving the same reminders over
and over and over and over. Part of being genuine is finding words to
say that communicate what the problem is and WHY it needs to stop, and
what the parent will change until it does stop.


If my husband called people stupid and asked other people to laugh at
others, I wouldn't go to parties with him. I wouldn't invite people
over to our house.

If I had a best friend who said things like "Duh," "Shut the frick
up," "You're fat," "Stupid lady," or "You're such an idiot," I
wouldn't meet them in public for lunch, and I wouldn't invite other
people over to hang out at the same time, but it's not a good
example. I wouldn't HAVE a friend who said things like that, not
without me saying clearly and unequivocably that she needed to STOP
being that way.

Sandra