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

 

-=-Since we did away with punishment a few years ago-=-

If you used to punish him, if you punished him for eight years, and
then stopped, but just stopped...

Are there unschoolers you know in person who know your family and your
son that you could ask for some observations?

If you didn't replace your old ways with something better, that could
be part of the problem.

The insults you're describing seem pointed and particular. Yet you're
saying he wouldn't know what "just joking" means. Doesn't know what
"joking" mean? Doesn't know that "just" makes things worse?

If you used to punish him and then you suddenly stopped, what were the
factors? Can your husband communicate with him better? Do you have
other friends who might be able to figure out what he's thinking?

Sandra


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

 


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

mauratracy
 

--- In AlwaysLearning@..., Sandra Dodd <Sandra@...> wrote:


If you ask HIM what he means by "kidding" and have an honest, deep
discussion about what "kidding" is (it's not nice), and about other
ways he could think of what he had done, it might help.
We've done that. He has no explanation, understanding.

He should not HAVE an easy way to "take it back" or act like it didn't
happen.
Well, I understand, but if you were flying off the handle, feeling out of control, and said something you didn't mean, you'd want that to redeem yourself, and maybe even to *try* to take the sting off the person you stung. I've talked to him countless times about how things hurt, and having someone try to take it back does not take away the hurt they felt in that moment. It doesn't seem to change anything.

It did happen and it will never UNhappen, and it's your job as a mom
to help him understand that.
I know, and I think he understands, and is just still powerless to change.


If you're letting him get by with the magical delete of "just
kidding," you're being his partner, but not in a good way.
I am most assuredly not letting him get away with it. Just don't know how to change it.

I hope you all know that on the one hand I truly believe my son can not help himself. And if that's true then what "advice" could I expect from you all. But it's confusing. I'm not totally sure, and since I'm not, I want to leave no turn unturned; if there's something I can be doing, then I want to be doing it. I've often said to myself for my own understanding, what if I had a child who had cerebral palsy, would I "punish" him for some of his uncontrollable actions? No! But would I sometimes need to protect others from them, maybe. I'm so sorry to sound so lame, but I would use drooling as my example....what if people were bothered by his drooling? Could I just say, well, that's their problem, I can't "fix" him? Maybe in some situations, but maybe in others I would need to be sensitive to others, like at a dinner party? Oh, I don't know. So, it's kind of like this, but not so clear. On the one hand i feel like he can't help it, but on the other I want all knowledge tools and insights that might help.


Maura


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

mauratracy
 

--- In AlwaysLearning@..., Sandra Dodd <Sandra@...> wrote:
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.
I understand this, but I don't know how we know where to draw the line. Aren't kids mean sometimes? I know a lot of kids who are mean sometimes. So when does a parent know that her child is a particular menace that warrants protecting the world? When we let our kids out into the world - parks, parties, sports, etc. - do we really all know that they will not say or do anything unkind?

I'm not saying this defensively. It's something I've struggled with. What can we expect the world to "take." What do we have an obligation to protect others' from? And what about the fact that many people can handle things, and some people are more sensitive to things? How do we know that this kid in particular, or this mom, in this soccer case, aren't very sheltered and sensitive? I'm totally not saying anything he said was OK, I'm just saying, wondering...we can't always judge the appropriateness of our kids behaviors by others' reactions to them. I mean, if I took a poll of the kids, or was able to hear everything they all say to each other, what if I found that most people didn't care what Jesse said, and that, in fact, a number of the kids talk like that, would I then be OK letting him play on the team? I'm not asking these things literally, but just trying to explain how challenging it would be to know when to intercede, and how far to go.


"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.
I have done all this, the explaining, etc.., but where I am stuck is this part: "and
what the parent will change until it does stop. " Since we did away with punishment a few years ago, there are times when all the environmental manipulation (not taking him to such and such place), the talking, the listening, just haven't fixed things, and I'm left not knowing what else I can do.

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
Nor would I. Don't get that choice here.

not
without me saying clearly and unequivocably that she needed to STOP
being that way.
I'm not saying this provocatively, Sandra, I'm really wanting to understand your belief, but do you really you think if we say things unequivocably that has the power to create change in our kids? I'm not saying you are, but I'm wondering if you're implying that we have this issue because we've tolerated it?

Thanks,
Maura


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

mauratracy
 

--- In AlwaysLearning@..., Sandra Dodd <Sandra@...> wrote:

-=-The context of these things is totally random. He shouts them out
out of no where, or in response to simple questions like, "What do you
want to eat?"=-

I have another question.

What was he doing when the question was asked?
It can be anything, but one example would be when he's playing on the computer, and he'll yell, "Give me food!"

Or why can't food be
put where he can see it and smell it without asking what he wants?
My kids are picky, and it works to give them choice. I don't always give them choice, but for breakfast I usually do....you know, are you just wanting cereal, or do you want me to make eggs, that kind of thing.


Are meals on a schedule and is he hungry?
Meals are not on a schedule, but it could be that he's hungry, and doesn't start asking for food until he's gotten really hungry, because he's been focussed on his game.

Was he asked to stop
playing a video game to eat?
No. Sometimes, when we're wanting all of us have dinner together, but not for the other meals. I'm usually fine with them eating while they play.

Is he out in the car against his well
and then asked what he wants to eat?
I don't understand what you mean.

Sometimes when a story is brought to this list, the context is too
small a window. The story starts after the child is already
frustrated, and not back before he felt like lashing out.
I don't see his outbursts as lashing out...sometimes, but not most of the time. By lashing out I think you mean in anger, trying to hurt? I don't think that's what's going on for him. But there may be story to something that's going on with him.....I think it's more of a personal frustration or boredom *if anything*. I mean, my husband will come home from work and say "Hey bud!" And Jesse will say, "You stink." It's really random, inane stuff that seems to not have connection to anything....except as I've said, boredom, and bad habit. (Not sure I said the habit part.)


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

Kris <kris1956@...>
 

On Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 1:42 PM, Sandra Dodd <Sandra@...> wrote:

There's "knowing" as in nodding one's head and agreeing, or even being
able to recite it back, and KNOWING which is being able to access that
knowledge and act in light of what one really does know in a useful way.

Holly knows that if she gets all keyed up and full of adrenaline, that
she can consciously breathe in such a way that the adrenaline is
dissipated.
She could pass a test on that question. She could advise others. She
fails much more often than not to put that knowledge to use in her own
life.
Would you remind her at this point? My daughter would welcome a reminder at
a moment like this but not my son, it would be an irritant. He responds to
talking in a calmer moment and I try to help him head off problems but I
also have to know when it will only make it worse.

Couldn't it have started there, though? Even with toddlers there are
real reasons for being nice and being gentle. The reasons are more
important than anything else. That's principles over rules, right
there.
Yup, the reasons were always part of the picture; our conversations just
adapted.

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

mauratracy
 

Thanks Pam. It gives me some hope that some of this may have a developmental component for some kids.......and no, this does not mean I will just ignore it and wait for him to grow up, though. I'm still reading for tools and ideas that I haven't thought of.

Maura

--- In AlwaysLearning@..., "warblwarbl2000" <pamtellew@...> wrote:

I'm on my 2nd 10 year old boy now and I have this sense that their powerful-ness grows earlier than their ability to control it. Kind of the way their feet grow first. <g> I have seen my kids play around with their power, relatively unconcerned with the consequences, between about ages 6 and 10.


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

mauratracy
 

--- In AlwaysLearning@..., Sanguinegirl83@... wrote:

I've found with my high energy 10 year old, that kind of behavior tends to
be a request for closeness.
This is a very helpful reminder for me.

I
also have to learn where the balance is between accepting the refusal of the
remedy and the need to press for the remedy before things get "to the
breaking point".

This too is helpful. It's hard to know, though, when to press for things, as you say.


Thanks De.


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

 

-=-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.=-

There's "knowing" as in nodding one's head and agreeing, or even being
able to recite it back, and KNOWING which is being able to access that
knowledge and act in light of what one really does know in a useful way.

Holly knows that if she gets all keyed up and full of adrenaline, that
she can consciously breathe in such a way that the adrenaline is
dissipated.
She could pass a test on that question. She could advise others. She
fails much more often than not to put that knowledge to use in her own
life.

-=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. =-

Couldn't it have started there, though? Even with toddlers there are
real reasons for being nice and being gentle. The reasons are more
important than anything else. That's principles over rules, right
there.
http://sandradodd.com/rules

Sandra


Re: Am I unschooling?

Jimi Ann <jimi.jane@...>
 

--- In AlwaysLearning@..., Sandra Dodd <Sandra@...> wrote:

I learned from Marty or Holly (maybe they both were doing it) just a
year or two ago that (shocking, I know...) one can brush teeth and
rinse with warm water. It doesn't have to be freezing cold tap water
that can hurt.
This is great you share this -- I have to show my husband. He thinks I am so strange for using warm water to rinse my teeth and loves to tease me. Now I can show him I'm not the only one! :)


Re: Am I unschooling?

Jimi Ann <jimi.jane@...>
 

Yes, marigolds. We took the heads from the marigold plants last fall after they died, from the big garden, and we planted the seeds we saved around the perimeter of my box. We did this to detract the deer a little. If the deer get hungry enough, of course they'll just lean over the marigolds to eat the good stuff -- but I've heard it deters them some. I also saved some zinnia heads from last year, and Pauline wants those for her bright purple garden box.

We'll purchase some plants that are already started, then do some seeds as well. Sunflowers are a great idea!

When my 12 year old, Peter, was younger, we had planted some potatoes. Well, they didn't do well, and we only got about 10 with our harvest. He was 3, and enjoyed digging up the "treasures" so much, that whenever he went in the house, I'd run out and "re-plant" the potatoes so he could find more! He did this all day and never got tired of it. What a fond memory. He was kind of puzzled that we only got one meal out of all those many potatoes he found! :)

Thanks for all the tips! Jimi Ann

--- In AlwaysLearning@..., Pam Sorooshian <pamsoroosh@...> wrote:

My husband, a long-time gardener, plants marigolds around the perimeter
of his veggie gardens. Plus - it is VERY cool to plant a couple of
sunflowers - they are so spectacular and grow really fast.

-pam


Re: Advice needed ??

 

-=- There is NO WAY that I will voluntarily put my daughter into a
public school ever again. At least if I have any say in the matter.
Any suggestions at all from anyone? -=-

http://sandradodd.com/divorce

If you can get any kind of counselling advice to stay together, you
might get unschooling, prescriptions, and a change in the balance of
power. It will be less expensive for all involved if you can find a
way to reconcile.

Sandra


Re: Am I unschooling?

 

-=- Plus - it is VERY cool to plant a couple of
sunflowers - they are so spectacular and grow really fast.-=-

The past couple of years I've planted bird seed--sunflowers, millet,
corn... Just the stuff we're already feeding the birds. Not lots
of it, a handful here and there. It's satisfying because the birds
will actually make use of the seed later, and I can put the stalks in
the compost, and where that's growing weeds don't grow. (People who
live where grass grows naturally might not have any idea what I'm on
about here...)

But planting some of the birdseed you might already have on hand is
cheaper than buying seeds. That was part of my point. <g>

Sandra


Re: Another Question about Honesty

Jessica <patchworkgirl@...>
 

Good points, Sandra! They fit in the category of "there's a time & place for everything" and "being tactful"... no sense in telling someone something at a bad time. And there are even times when not telling is a good idea... is this good information for someone, weights & balances, blah blah blah, LOL!

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


Re: Am I unschooling?

Melissa Wiley
 

We always plant a "nibbling garden"--plants the kids can pick and eat
whenever they like. My kids like peas (pods and all), cherry tomatoes,
lettuce, mint (in pots--spreads like crazy in the ground), strawberries,
thyme, rosemary, cilantro, and oregano.

Lissa


Re: Balance

 

-=-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.-=-

This is hard for people to get sometimes, but in the instant it became
clear to me I remember thinking "How could I not have known the
difference?" I think it might be easier for bottle-feeding moms to
miss it than for breastfeeding moms, because nursing a baby comes with
a hormonal relaxant and there's no other place to be but right there
when all systems are functioning and a baby is nursing peacefully and
deeply.

There was a chat recently about that very thing, about the quality of
being with a child.
http://sandradodd.com/chats/being

Caren, I'd like to add some of what you've posted today to that page
as a sidebar. It's very powerfully worded:

-=-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.-=-

Sandra


Re: Am I unschooling?

Pam Sorooshian <pamsoroosh@...>
 

On 4/6/2009 10:51 AM, Sandra Dodd wrote:
It might be nice to get some bedding plants so they don't have to wait
for weeks to see little plants come up (and maybe be eaten by bugs or
birds or snails or what have you). Some seeds, some plants... I
have tomato seeds in peat pots and I baby them every day, but if they
don't come up I'll go and buy some that professionals started. It's
not a test. It's cooperative world for fun.
My husband, a long-time gardener, plants marigolds around the perimeter of his veggie gardens. Plus - it is VERY cool to plant a couple of sunflowers - they are so spectacular and grow really fast.

-pam


Re: Am I unschooling?

jenstarc4
 

It might be nice to get some bedding plants so they don't have to wait
for weeks to see little plants come up (and maybe be eaten by bugs or
birds or snails or what have you). Some seeds, some plants... I
have tomato seeds in peat pots and I baby them every day, but if they
don't come up I'll go and buy some that professionals started. It's
not a test. It's cooperative world for fun.

I'll ditto that! I was going to suggest that too. Since clearly they
were excited, they want it to be successful, so make sure that there is
something beautiful and growing in there, even if their own ventures
don't succeed from seed. Every time we've gone to the plant nursery
over the years, the kids always pick something to plant because they get
excited about it, just like I do.

We still have a beautiful (even if it is really little) ground cover
garden that Chamille planted over 3 yrs ago!


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

Joanna Murphy <ridingmom@...>
 

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.
Interesting comment! My kids have started karate, and I see how it feeds my daughter in one way, but it feeds my son in a different, more primal way. It's like deep senses get activated--the ones that are actively discouraged in all other instances in his life.

Maura--has Jesse tried a martial art? Maybe that would be a place that would value his aggressive energy and channel it into appropriate discipline at the same time. My kids are LOVING learning how to fight--they have sparring once a week where they are encouraged to bring all the force they can muster to bear on the teachers--with appropriate padding and safety precautions.

But I have to say that I have been surprised by how encouraged aggression is, after having it be so actively discouraged in the rest of life (for obvious and good reasons!). I can see how it takes a while for new kids to click into the zone of having it be o.k. and desirable--at first they are very tentative and try not to "hurt" anyone. Then they figure out that they aren't going to hurt anyone, and in fact, that if they don't dial up the aggression, they don't progress.

Joanna


Advice needed ??

Belinda <b.newbold@...>
 

I don't know if this is allowed on here or not, but if it's ok I'd like to ask for some advice.
Here goes: My husband of 10 years left 3 weeks ago and filed for a divorce. I've been unschooling my 9 yo daughter for the past two years. I'm unable to work due to physical problems, and severe depression. He is not currently paying any child support or alimony, and this could take at least a year to get done. He's giving me $50.00 a month to keep the lawn mowed and any minor house repairs that need to get done.
Due to physical problems, I really can't do most kinds of work. I'm having Carpal Tunnel surgery next month. There is NO WAY that I will voluntarily put my daughter into a public school ever again. At least if I have any say in the matter.
Any suggestions at all from anyone? I have applied for food stamps, welfare, and Disability. It will take quite a while, from what I've heard, to get Disability.
I have a lawyer, and she's asked for an emergency hearing to force him to pay child support and alimony at least until this goes to court. She's also asking the Judge to force husband to pay her retainer up front so that she can represent me.
He's never let me have access to his bank accounts, so I have no idea what he has. I know we had a little left over each paycheck after he paid all of the bills, but not sure how much. When he lived here, he gave me $180.00 every week to buy groceries, prescriptions, etc. Granted, that didn't go very far, but I managed to make it stretch for the most part. Sometimes I'd have to get him to go by and pay for some of my prescriptions. Now I don't even have that, and $50 a month won't even touch my prescriptions.
Please? Anyone have any advice? I have applied online for help with prescriptions, but because I do still have insurance through my husband, I'm not eligible for any of the programs that are supposed to help low income people.
Belinda