Date   

Re: Questions

 

-=- I have been thinking about this, but i am struggling with this statement -=-

Don't struggle. Relax. :-)
Read a little, try a little, wait a while, watch.
Don't puzzle over and struggle with ideas.

A pattern is showing:

-=-My son and I have often discussed it, and I ask him to think about what are one's choices when met with someone who is not acting nicely. -=-
-=- but i am expressing some disbelief, because this is not how he has always acted. -=-
-=-We discuss his choices and i ask him if each course of action feels the same inside... when he is disdainful or when he focuses on himself and how he can make the world a better place and have compassion and understanding for others?.-=-

TOO MUCH TALKING. Way too much talking.
Don't "often discuss it." Don't express disbelief. That's tacky. "I can't believe you're acting this way" is expressing disbelieve.
Don't ask him how each course of action feels on the inside.

-=-We have a little bee that we call "BEE=lieve" and we have him, among other things, to be a reminder of my son's inner voice that asks him to be his best self .-=-

If you have physical props designed to discuss how he should be, it sounds like WAY too much focus. Is it like a curriculum? Is it less natural than the way he's learning about trees and birds, or history?

-=-He was writing a poem about himself, and when asked to pick an adjective that best described himself, he chose nice. -=-

Who asked him to pick an adjective? Who asked him to write a poem?

-=-So, because he emulates me at this stage and thus chooses to be positive and nice, do you see that is problematic and limiting? -=-

Is "positive and nice" the only things you are? This longer post makes it look like there's way too much focus on being "positive and nice."

Please consider the possibility that you're more concerned about how he is than he is? Don't pressure him to care more than he does. Please consider (even though I could be wrong) that you might unconsciously be seeing an adversarial situation—if your son acts like your mom, you lose; if he "emulates" you, you win. Don't make him a pawn in your feelings about your mom.

I didn't know she was living with you. If she's at your house, you could ask her (privately—keep your son out of it) to try to keep the grumbling quieter. I was picture a visiting situation, where he picks up some things and it's a while until the next visit.

-=-My son notices that he is not choosing a kind way of thinking and looking at others, and he is not thrilled with his choices. -=-

Don't make it worse by mentioning it then. I withdraw the "sounds like grandma" recommendation, if she's living there. Now I think there might be too much verbiage altogether.

Sandra


Re: Questions

LEAH ROSE
 

<<I think people who were criticized for their words as children are letting their own sensitivities color what's written here.

<<If it's "not okay" to say something unkind, do you really think it would be suggested here to correct and shame a child each time he fails at being kind?

<<Or do you think the idea that it's "not okay" to be unkind is triggering memories of your parent's reactions to your words so that you're imagining that's what's being said?>>


I almost wrote a longer post initially, to stipulate that I don't imagine this mom is shaming her child. She sounds very sweet and attentive and tuned in. And most certainly no one here has suggested that she resort to shaming. I was not actually referring to shaming so much as personality differences.

I don't actually have a lot of memories of my parents shaming me (though I think they probably did, and probably too often), but I do remember a childhood that felt fraught with expectations (real and imagined), which I can see in hindsight was greatly exacerbated by my tendency to be scrupulously conscientious (my sisters were not plagued by that personality quirk so I would not dismiss it simply as fallout from our rigid parenting). And so, like I said, I may indeed be reading more into this situation than is really there, and/or I may be unconsciously reacting from my own childhood traumas, but I think it is worth considering that a particular child's personality can predispose him/her towards pleasing others to their own detriment, to over-sacrificing to make/keep the peace, to being conscientious (driven by conscience) to a fault in their dealings with others.

Maybe that is not the case with this young boy. But what I read from the mom, and in her message from her son, made me wonder if that is not something to ponder. Is he okay with being imperfect? From where I'm standing, it's not about assuring him that it's "fine, no problem" to think or speak meanly of others, but to assure him that it's okay to stumble, to fall, that it's good to be aware of, but not dwell on, our weaknesses. Maybe it's as simple as making a game out of "do-overs": every time he hears himself say something he doesn't like he says "do-over!" and re-states it, or changes the subject ("My, isn't the sky blue today?"), so that he can relax about it and not get stuck on questions of "Why am I saying these things?! How do I make it stop?!" Those questions sound like someone who is struggling with issues about control, and they may in fact be wholly appropriate to his developmental state...or they may be an indication of a personality component that needs more consideration.

~ Leah Rose


---In AlwaysLearning@..., <jfetteroll@...> wrote :

*** sounds like a lot of pressure on a young soul to only EVER be kind and sweet ***

I think people who were criticized for their words as children are letting their own sensitivities color what's written here.

If it's "not okay" to say something unkind, do you really think it would be suggested here to correct and shame a child each time he fails at being kind?

Or do you think the idea that it's "not okay" to be unkind is triggering memories of your parent's reactions to your words so that you're imagining that's what's being said?

If an idea is "not okay" that means don't model it. If an idea is "not okay" that means when kids don't realize it's not okay, to let them know, to help them understand. That goes for any idea that's not okay. Grabbing. Touching in a way that others don't like.

Kids should stop saying "slowpoke" and such because it *feels* wrong, not because mom makes them stop.

And it will feel wrong if mom doesn't say such words. It will feel wrong if mom gives a child feedback that he's being unkind *when he doesn't realize it.*

BUT if a child is being deliberately unkind, then there's some deeper issue involved. It won't be fixed by making the child use kind words.

Except for the child who is noticing his own unkindness and *asking* for help to stop saying unkind words.

Joyce


Re: Questions

M Person
 

>>Having only one right response seems limiting to me.  Having only the option of being nice seems suffocating to me.  Perhaps that is what your son is sad about.  Not that he's not being nice, but that he can't possibly live up to the expectation that he must *always* be nice.  That would make me sad too.<<<

I have been reading all of your posts, am very grateful, and have been taking my time to digest what has been said.  I would like to respond and hopefully clarify...

 I have been thinking about this, but i am struggling with this statement Here is one thing I can respond...I do indeed model kindness and niceness. I respond to people in a nice manner. Even if they are rude, I act politely. My son and I have often discussed it, and I ask him to think about what are one's choices when met with someone who is not acting nicely.  I do believe he chooses to be nice and chooses the option that makes others feel good.  We volunteer at an adult day care center, and he enjoys doing this because he knows that he is helping others feel good. Just being the lovely young man he is will put a smile on someone's face, and he has learned that when he helps others, it feels good to him inside.

We have a little bee that we call "BEE=lieve" and we have him, among other things, to be a reminder of my son's  inner voice that asks him to be his best self .  He was writing a poem about himself, and when asked to pick an adjective that best described himself, he chose nice. So, yes it could very well be because he has seen me act in a nice manner.  So, because he emulates me at this stage and thus chooses to be positive and nice, do you see that is problematic and limiting? I am trying to make sense of this.

And as someone said, he is a good- hearted child and chooses happy and glad and kind and caring. Thus, the  reason for the original post was when sandra said that being around negative parents can adversely change a child ...when  his grandma moved in with us, he has now been around her  less than positive influence.  My son notices that he is not choosing a kind  way of thinking and looking at others, and he is not thrilled with his choices.  

>>My husband likes to do that sometimes, but it never makes me think better of him.  And I'm not very sympathetic, either, beause he's sometimes an irritating driver.  AND sometimes it's not the other driver's fault at all, whatsoever.  Sometimes a car behind me probably wishes I would hurry (more often can't catch me, while Holly is reading speed limit signs to me meaningfullly), but if I rush so that they are slightly convenienced, it can cause an accident.  sometimes they can't see the scooter in front of my van, or the pedestrian, or the speed of the oncoming car, and turning left or making a U-turn with a car coming isn't safe for any of us, if I rush it when I don't have the right of way.Also... the person in the car ahead might have just received horrible news, or lost a job, or be afraid for a child, or....    we don't know.<<<

To be very blunt, my mother is judgmental and makes negative comments often. My son will try  on her voice [saying something he has heard her say often] for example,  when a car cuts us off...."Mommy, he is being a jerk" I do not criticize him, but I will respond and ask him what is going on, and he will explain that the driver cut us off. And i will say, yes, he cut us off, and then we will discuss what we actually know about the situation. He comes to the conclusion that it was not a nice thing for the other car to do, but we do not know what is going on with the other person [and yes, here i am encouraging empathy] . Also, when all is said and done, I will ask my son which one feels better to him to be upset or to have a happy, joyful attitude toward life.

I just reread the paragraph i wrote before, and I think that though I do not criticize per se, that I do react. I do what i said above, but i am expressing some disbelief, because this is not how he has always acted.   I will go forward now and outwardly temper my reaction, though I admit inwardly, I am chagrined. Any ideas to help me???


>>I think just smiling and saying "sounds like Grandma!" (or what seems natural and what you call her... you know)—not in a mean way, just an acknowledgement—might help him know that you're paying attention and that you're aware that he's picking things up, but that you're not worried about it.<<< 

yes!!!
.by the way,  i am reading all of these posts to my son, and to the one above, he said..."Mommy, that is what you say and i do it too"  

however, I do admit that I am concerned about the disdain that he is showing [parroting what he is seeing] so, sandra, as to your comment, i do think i am not without worry. We discuss his choices and i ask him if each course of action feels the same inside... when he is disdainful or when he focuses on himself and how he can make the world a better place and have compassion and understanding for others?. So, i have to admit once again, that i am concerned. any wise words to guide me in helping him?

>>*Kids should stop saying "slowpoke" and such because it *feels* wrong, not because mom makes them stop. 
And it will feel wrong if mom doesn't say such words. It will feel wrong if mom gives a child feedback that he's being unkind *when he doesn't realize it.* if a child is being deliberately unkind, then there's some deeper issue involved. It won't be fixed by making the child use kind words. 
my italics ...Except for the child who is noticing his own unkindness and *asking* for help to stop saying unkind words<<

YES!!! that is this child...thank you for your patience and time and for helping us figure out how to traverse this challenging journey.



Re: Questions

Joyce Fetteroll
 

*** sounds like a lot of pressure on a young soul to only EVER be kind and sweet ***

I think people who were criticized for their words as children are letting their own sensitivities color what's written here.

If it's "not okay" to say something unkind, do you really think it would be suggested here to correct and shame a child each time he fails at being kind?

Or do you think the idea that it's "not okay" to be unkind is triggering memories of your parent's reactions to your words so that you're imagining that's what's being said?

If an idea is "not okay" that means don't model it. If an idea is "not okay" that means when kids don't realize it's not okay, to let them know, to help them understand. That goes for any idea that's not okay. Grabbing. Touching in a way that others don't like.

Kids should stop saying "slowpoke" and such because it *feels* wrong, not because mom makes them stop.

And it will feel wrong if mom doesn't say such words. It will feel wrong if mom gives a child feedback that he's being unkind *when he doesn't realize it.*

BUT if a child is being deliberately unkind, then there's some deeper issue involved. It won't be fixed by making the child use kind words.

Except for the child who is noticing his own unkindness and *asking* for help to stop saying unkind words.

Joyce


Re: Questions

CASS KOTRBA
 


-=-   sounds like a lot of pressure on a young soul to only EVER be kind and sweet...in other words, to NEVER make a mistake. That doesn't sound healthy to me, either. -=-
 
I was having thoughts along this same line.  I was raised to always be nice and "if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all".  Being nice is not always the most appropriate response in all situations.  It's something I've spent a lot of years trying to decipher the nuance of.  I was taught, intentionally or not, that unhappy feelings and thoughts were unacceptable & unwelcome.  I internalized that to believe that I was bad to have emotions or thoughts that weren't happy and pleasant.  This caused me to push down thoughts and feelings that did not fit into this narrow band of accepted emotions.  It is still a subject that is quite confusing to me.
-Cass


Re: Safely and lovingly supporting trans children

CASS KOTRBA
 


-=-   I believe that there are more than two genders and also that there are endless gender "presentations". -=-
 
This is a subject I've been pondering about.  I have chickens.  A couple of years ago I had some young roosters who became aggressive with the hens and people so we harvested them.  I had a chicken who was clearly developing as a hen, she was about 6 months old, and I called her Helen.  Two or three weeks after all of the other roosters disappeared from the flock I noticed Helen start to change.  She started sprouting long tail feathers & her legs & ankles became more masculine.  Eventually she started to crow like a rooster & even hop on the hens as if mating with them.  At that time I changed her name to Pat as I really wasn't sure if she was a male or female.  I had heard that if you have a flock of chickens with no rooster that one of the hens would take on that role but I was surprised at how much this role change transformed Pat's appearance and behavior.  Pat has not dropped testicles and can't fertilize eggs.  He/she is not quite a full rooster but is definitely not a hen.  Something in between that I don't have a word for.  Pat has never become aggressive with the hens or people and is a great addition to the barnyard, whatever Pat's gender.
 
I also have had ducks for 3 years.  When I had males the entire flock was pretty sexually active.  After we harvested the males I noticed that it did not take long for the female ducks to regain their sexual activity with the females taking on the role of a male.  I don't think it's one particular female, I think they take turns but they look so similar it's not really easy to say for sure. 
 
So it is obvious to me that in the wider animal kingdom there is much more flexibility in sexuality than is allowed for in our culture.  (Although I believe that many Asian cultures do allow for more flexibility in sexual identity.) We tend to think of sexuality as a black and white, fixed thing.  Animals do not follow this rule.  For them, sexuality and gender identity seems to be quite malleable.  It has been a very interesting, unintended learning experience for myself & my kids.  I mention it to most people who come to visit our little farm & you can watch the wheels start turning in their heads.  :D
 
Similarly, I really enjoy watching my various critters take on the role of motherhood.  I enjoy watching how loving and relaxed they are with their young.  They are definitely unschoolers and I learn a lot from them!  They each have their own sweet little language that they use to communicate with their babies.  I love seeing how the desire to protect their young changes them.  I had a duck that went broody this spring - meaning she wanted to hatch eggs into babies and would refuse to leave her nest.  This normally timid, docile little duck went into warrior mode.  Anyone coming close to her nest would face her wrath.  She even bit me - hard - the couple of times I tried to get in there to check on her nest.  About a month after the first duck went broody I had a second one do the same.  I bought fertilized eggs for both of them to sit on.  The first duck managed to hatch 2 ducklings - and then something unexpected happened.  The 2 ducks teamed up.  Both ducks started taking caring of the ducklings and sitting on the remaining eggs.  They took turns and supported each other in the sweetest way.  They did not manage to hatch any of the remaining eggs but they both took ownership of the ducklings that had hatched.  I would never have expected them to act cooperatively in this way and it really made me think.  They are an adorable little family.
 
-Cass


Re: Safely and lovingly supporting trans children

Vicki Dennis
 



On Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 10:16 PM, jonathan.ford61@... [AlwaysLearning] <AlwaysLearning@...> wrote:
 

  A three year old female-bodied child may adamantly claim they are a boy persistently but not even be aware of the physical sex differences between boys and girls. They just identify as a boy.  And they may be straight, or gay, or queer, or anything in between, and they'll figure that out at puberty and beyond.


Jon



Re: childish, child-like, inner child

chris ester
 

I was a very serious college student, mostly because of abject poverty and
being desperately tired all of the time because of working at least one job
and going to college full time.

Then I went into a very serious profession- social work.

The greatest gifts of my life was first meeting my husband who managed to
re-ignite my sense of fun and then my children who helped me resuscitate
that sense of wonder about the world that children have.

When I looked at them as older toddlers/young children, I did NOT want
them to be forced to put that sense of wonder and curiosity away so that
they could conform to the arbitrary standards in a classroom. From there,
I discovered unschooling and finally radical unschooling. So I guess it
was (at least in part) my urge to keep all of that fun at home in the
family that lead to homeschooling. Huh!

chris

On Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 10:45 PM, Sandra Dodd Sandra@SandraDodd.com
[AlwaysLearning] <AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com> wrote:



In the chat on Wednesay the 15th, we were talking about words that can
cause problems. We were discussing "just." I want to take a tangent,
thought, from something I wrote:

*Sandra Dodd*: So treating children as whole people and not "just kids"
is good.

*Sandra Dodd*: That's one of the cruelist minimalizations: He's just a
child."

*Sandra Dodd*: But then… when I got used to being more respectful of
children, I bristled when an adult told another adult "you're being
childish."

*Sandra Dodd*:

I'm reading Alan Cumming's memoir *Not My Father's Son*. He and his
brother were abused and terrorized, growing up, by a mean and physical dad.

Nearly halfway through the book (page 124) he talks about the relief he
felt after he and his brother, when they were in their 30's, I think,
finally meeting and talking with their dad about that childhood. it
didn't go well, and for sixteen years after that, there was no contact.

I'll quote most of a page:
_______________________

...the ensuing silence and absence of him from our lives because of this
confrontation enabled us both to move on. We both felt a freedom from his
legacy, and a clarity, that we had never before experienced.

For me, I found myself embracing the childhood I felt I had missed. My
flat began to fill with games I had either played as a boy or lusted
after. I discovered I loved the color yellow and so I had all my walls
painted in a bright shade of it. I saw a large floor lamp in the shape of
a daffodil, and I had to have it. I bought action figures from TV shows of
my youth and placed them in pride of place on my mantlepiece. i started to
collect marbles again.

I realized that I was living my life backwards. I had to be a grown-up
when I'd been a little boy, and now I was tending to the little boy inside
who'd never had the chance to properly play. I didn't question it. I went
with it. I liked it.

I am referred to often as having a childlike quality, or being pixielike.
At first, when these sorts of descriptions began to be attributed to me, I
didn't like them. Childhood for me had such negativie connotations that
the idea that I was in some way overly connected to that time in my life
was a cuase for concern, not celebration. *Why* was I so childlike? Was
I in some way emotionally retarded, trapped, trying desperately to
reconfigure my past before I could move on?

Eventually I began to feel more comfortable with it all. Childlike, I
realized, tends to mean open, joyous, maybe a bit mishievous, and I am
happy to have all those qualities.
_________________________________

Some adults have an inability to play—to be playful, or light-hearted.
Unschooling parents need to be able to play.

Some might go too far, and want to quit their jobs and not take
responsibility for providing well for their family—that's not what I'm
recommending.

I suppose "childish" can be a deserved warning.
Child*like*, though, has the potential to be a very good thing.

Do you know quotes or stories about benefits of adults maintaining
attributes usually considered 'childish'?

A couple of links on my site that come to mind (not for quotes, but for
anyone new to these discussion who might want to read more):
http://sandradodd.com/wonder
http://sandradodd.com/playing

Sandra



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Why would they ever choose to do anything unpleasant?

emstrength3
 

People wonder if unschooled kids would ever choose to do something unpleasant, that they don't particularly want to do, but that needs to be done.  I have a story from today that might be encouraging to anyone wondering this.

My daughter is 8 (9 in December) and she's had a few pet sitting jobs in the past.  She had one this whole last week taking care of a chicken and two cats.  The cats pooped on the couch, and we saw it this morning.  She was grossed out and gagging, but without hesitation asked me to help her find something to clean it up.  She cleaned it up thoroughly.  I don't think it crossed her mind to do otherwise, because she is very happy to have the job and to be known as being responsible enough to get these jobs. 

She also offered to giver her sister some of the money she earned, because her sister was her "assistant."  And when I was talking to the woman at the music academy (not really an academy, just a program for kids to learn to play instruments put on by the local symphony) about a payment plan for the one time registration fee for the violin classes the girls asked for, my daughter offered to use some of her pet sitting money to pay for it.   

This is the result of her never having had any chores (though she often willingly helps out), and of her having a dog who I usually clean up after without complaint.  Also the result of being willing to get all the kids (four of them) dressed and out the door twice a day for the last week to drive her to this job, joyfully, often singing as we go.  

Emily
E- 8
L- 6
Z- 3
A- baby



Re: Questions

LEAH ROSE
 

I'm quite in sympathy with the perspective you've shared, Karen. It sounds like we had similar experiences growing up. I was a highly sensitive, conscience-driven child, a real people pleaser and peace-maker, and my parents expectations (and therefore my own of myself) were unreasonably high. As a result, I grew up with a tendency to feel guilt way out of proportion to whatever wrong I committed, and that reflex followed me well into adulthood and messed up my early parenting by prompting me to set my expectations too high for myself and children, and not being able to feel patience and compassion for my and their imperfections. 

Unschooling, and more to the point deschooling, has helped a lot with this. But I would not encourage a sensitive child, who typically shows himself to be caring and sweet, to be hyper-vigilant about his every word and tone, or focused on analyzing and judging his every word and deed for its acceptability. So, if I were standing in line and my 12 yo was wondering what's taking so long, I might make up possible scenarios that are sympathetic to the people in front of us, or else look around for a place for him to sit down, or give him my phone to take pictures or play games, etc.. I would not call him out for his feelings or his expression of them unless he was being notably rude. And I wouldn't encourage a habit of him replaying and second-guessing his every"negative" thought or word.

It may be that I'm reading more into this particular situation than what's really there, but the son being so often "disappointed" in himself, combined with the mom's statement of her "hoping though that we can find a way that he does not change" [from his previous perpetually cheerful, positive self] sounds like a lot of pressure on a young soul to only EVER be kind and sweet...in other words, to NEVER make a mistake. That doesn't sound healthy to me, either.


Re: Safely and lovingly supporting trans children

jonathan.ford61
 

I would support my child and help them be who they are, transgender or not, gay or not, straight or not, or anything in between.  And if that meant seeking the advice of medical professionals, I would do that. And if my child, at puberty, felt they did not want to experience puberty of their gender assigned at birth, then I would help them get access to hormone blockers.  And if/when they decided on surgery, I would help them get that, too.


Children know their gender when they are little. They know who they are.  They might want to pretend to be the opposite sex, boys might want to pretend to be Mom and girls might want to pretend to be Dad, and they can have imaginary friends and go through phases where they tell you they are a lion or a dog or what have you. And they outgrow that.  But nobody outgrows their true gender, so if they identify as the gender opposite their biological sex, then I would help them.


And I would also help them navigate the world of prejudice and transphobia and they would know that they have my support and unconditional love throughout their life.


===We do not allow preteens or young teens the power of consent for sex===


Gender identity has nothing to do with sex or sexuality.  A three year old female-bodied child may adamantly claim they are a boy persistently but not even be aware of the physical sex differences between boys and girls. They just identify as a boy.  And they may be straight, or gay, or queer, or anything in between, and they'll figure that out at puberty and beyond.


Jon


childish, child-like, inner child

 

In the chat on Wednesay the 15th, we were talking about words that can cause problems.  We were discussing "just."   I want to take a tangent, thought, from something I wrote:

Sandra Dodd: So treating children as whole people and not "just kids" is good. 

Sandra Dodd: That's one of the cruelist minimalizations: He's just a child."

Sandra Dodd: But then… when I got used to being more respectful of children, I bristled when an adult told another adult "you're being childish."

Sandra Dodd


I'm reading Alan Cumming's memoir Not My Father's Son.  He and his brother were abused and terrorized, growing up, by a mean and physical dad.

Nearly halfway through the book (page 124) he talks about the relief he felt after he and his brother, when they were in their 30's, I think, finally  meeting and talking with their dad about that childhood.  it didn't go well, and for sixteen years after that, there was no contact.

I'll quote most of a page:
_______________________

...the ensuing silence and absence of him from our lives because of this confrontation enabled us both to move on.  We both felt a freedom from his legacy, and a clarity, that we had never before experienced.

For me, I found myself embracing the childhood I felt I had missed.   My flat began to fill with games I had either played as a boy or lusted after.  I discovered I loved the color yellow and so I had all my walls painted in a bright shade of it.  I saw a large floor lamp in the shape of a daffodil, and I had to have it. I bought action figures from TV shows of my youth and placed them in pride of place on my mantlepiece.  i started to collect marbles again.

I realized that I was living my life backwards.  I had to be a grown-up when I'd been a little boy, and now I was tending to the little boy inside who'd never had the chance to properly play.  I didn't question it.  I went with it.  I liked it.

I am referred to often as having a childlike quality, or being pixielike.  At first, when these sorts of descriptions began to be attributed to me, I didn't like them.  Childhood for me had such negativie connotations that the idea that I was in some way overly connected to that time in my life was a cuase for concern, not celebration.  Why was I so childlike?  Was I in some way emotionally retarded, trapped, trying desperately to reconfigure my past before I could move on?

Eventually I began to feel more comfortable with it all.  Childlike, I realized, tends to mean open, joyous, maybe a bit mishievous, and I am happy to have all those qualities.
_________________________________

Some adults have an inability to play—to be playful, or light-hearted.  Unschooling parents need to be able to play.

Some might go too far, and want to quit their jobs and not take responsibility for providing well for their family—that's not what I'm recommending.  

I suppose "childish" can be a deserved warning.  
Childlike, though, has the potential to be a very good thing.

Do you know quotes or stories about benefits of adults maintaining attributes usually considered 'childish'?

A couple of links on my site that come to mind (not for quotes, but for anyone new to these discussion who might want to read more):

Sandra


Re: Safely and lovingly supporting trans children

Vicki Dennis
 

6 pm Central Time  tonight on MTV.

vicki

On Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 4:33 PM, Sandra Dodd Sandra@... [AlwaysLearning] <AlwaysLearning@...> wrote:
Friday night, October 17:

http://www.logotv.com/shows/laverne_cox_presents_the_t_word/series.jhtml
http://www.mtv.com/news/1934064/laverne-cox-presents-the-t-word-documentary-premiere/

Laverne Cox Presents:  The T Word
Documentary chronicling the challenges and trimphs of seven transgender youths as they navigate varying states of transitioning (I'm writing what People Magazine has).

MTV and Logo, 7: p.m. most places
http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/2014/10/17/exclusive-laverne-cox-sounds-t-word

Maybe for those who see this afterwards, or years from now, it will be available to see somehow, somewhere.




------------------------------------

------------------------------------


------------------------------------

Yahoo Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AlwaysLearning/

<*> Your email settings:
    Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AlwaysLearning/join
    (Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:
    AlwaysLearning-digest@...
    AlwaysLearning-fullfeatured@...

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    AlwaysLearning-unsubscribe@...

<*> Your use of Yahoo Groups is subject to:
    https://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/utos/terms/



Re: Safely and lovingly supporting trans children

 

Friday night, October 17:

http://www.logotv.com/shows/laverne_cox_presents_the_t_word/series.jhtml
http://www.mtv.com/news/1934064/laverne-cox-presents-the-t-word-documentary-premiere/

Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word
Documentary chronicling the challenges and trimphs of seven transgender youths as they navigate varying states of transitioning (I'm writing what People Magazine has).

MTV and Logo, 7: p.m. most places
http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/2014/10/17/exclusive-laverne-cox-sounds-t-word

Maybe for those who see this afterwards, or years from now, it will be available to see somehow, somewhere.


Re: Safely and lovingly supporting trans children

Vicki Dennis
 



On Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 4:09 PM, Sandra Dodd Sandra@... [AlwaysLearning] <AlwaysLearning@...> wrote:
 

-=-We do not allow preteens or young teens the power of consent for sex; I think hormones or surgery have any more extensive lifelong effects. -=-


Did you mean "have even more extensive lifelong effects"?

++++++  Yes, I meant still more, even more, possibly even way more!.   Using a laptop keyboard which requires typing corrections about every third word.   Glad you let me clarify.

Someday, I suppose, there will be medical evidence that makes it more humane or sensible to begin hormones early (before puberty) that that time hasn't come yet.   I'm sure there are things we decide now, about children's health, that will someday be seen as ignorant and barbaric, and waiting until someone is grown for "gender reassignment" (a term that will probably be hooted at, in those future days) will be on the list.

++++
Activists are already moving away from "gender reassignment surgery" which replaced "sex reassignment surgery".   The politically correct or activist approved term these days is "gender confirmation surgery".  There are people now who are "de-transitioning" after suffering ill effects from years of hormones.   I am aware of more female to male transitions making that decision.

"Puberty blockers" are indeed popular now and there are medical professionals as well as activists who currently make the "more humane or sensible" argument.   I believe that there are more than two genders and also that there are endless gender "presentations". I would prefer working toward wider understanding that it is not necessary to force the body into a stereotypical mold.      I find that true for trans children and even for children with ambiguous genitalia.  Currently the push is to decide as soon as possible and then cut the body to fit the adult decision.

vicki



 

But that's not now.

-=-That said, I think that children are very capable of deciding whether the negative reactions from a transphobic and homophobic community are less or more than their own reactions as a result of 1) not being allowed to express what they consider their true identity and 2) actively lying about who they are.   I think the latter is soul-crushing at any age. -=-

They're capable of guessing, but they might also live in a community in which expressing themselves is unsafe for the child and perhaps for the family, and that could be a consideration for some families.    Soul-crushing is less irrevocable than skull crushing or public humiliation.  Sometimes it's possible that a family might need to be supportive in private and advise toward ambiguity, at best, in public.  

My niece  (just turned 30) was in a play recently that's basically a Shakespeare sampler.

Her description in the program was:
Gina Trujillo is a writer, comic book artist, and all around geek.  Her dramatic tendencies and androgynous look have landed her in a wide range of roles, both on and off the state.  She is older than she looks and this is due to the fact that she refuses to grow up, ever, resolving to become Peter Pan instead.

She played more male roles than female that night, and both equally well. :-)

Gina was never a feminine girl, though she was a great collector of My Little Ponies. Her being unschooled made her life easier, and she's been in a relationship for fifteen years with another homeschooled girl—though at first they were best friends, and it gradually evolved to be a life partnership.  I knew before her mom did, because they talked to me when they were 17 or so about how others in their hometown (where I grew up, too) called them lesbians, and were not always nice.  I took it as a hypothetical, general request for assistance, and brainstormed with them things they might say or do to dodge nonsense, but didn't ask any more questions.  I knew by their glances and the relaxation of their shoulders at certain points in the conversation that it was not hypothetical.  

Female to male is not the same level of problem male to female is.  A girl wearing black and having short hair and playing male parts in Shakespeare plays is not a very big deal.  

A girl who avoided high school locker rooms and whose family wasn't pressuring her to be more "girlie" is going to have an easier go than a family with hopes of pink and sparkles, and school teasing and bullying.

Sandra



Re: Safely and lovingly supporting trans children

Misa Knight <love2boardgame@...>
 


<<

I think that "living as a different gender"  is very different that taking powerful chemicals or doing irreversible surgery.
I would like to see more communities working to be accepting  of various combinations of practicing gender and the sex assigned at birth and the biological sex based on DNA.   

I think that the intersex child (for instance, having what seems to be a vagina but also internal testes) should be allowed to grow and to decide which gender they are in their brain.   By the same token trans children (whose genitals may be  ambiguous or whose DNA and genitalia perfectly match but whose brain says the opposite gender from the body should be allowed to "try on"  various gender models and neither shamed nor pushed to make an irrevocable decision.

We do not allow preteens or young teens the power of consent for sex; I think hormones or surgery have any more extensive lifelong effects.
>>

Typically, young children are not put on "hormones", per se. They are put on something more akin to hormone-blockers. This is, almost universally, considered a better option if there's any indication that this is a course they'd like to continue along. And these "hormone blockers" are also given to children who are NOT transgendered but who are, for whatever reason, experiencing puberty too early.

The benefit of hormone blockers is that they are completely reversible and, if discontinued, even fertility levels can be normal. A better descriptor can be found here: http://transhealth.ucsf.edu/trans?page=protocol-youth .

The question of surgery is another matter (one that is usually moot, anyway, as most doctors would not consider doing this type of surgery on a younger child and you are typically required to live as the gender you "present as" for a good length of time). Also, keep in mind, surgery is not always desired as part of "transitioning". In fact, most of my friends who are transgender have specifically chosen not to have surgery (with the notable exception of chest reduction - which, if they're on hormones pre-puberty, should not be an issue).

- Misa


Re: Safely and lovingly supporting trans children

 

-=-We do not allow preteens or young teens the power of consent for sex; I think hormones or surgery have any more extensive lifelong effects. -=-

Did you mean "have even more extensive lifelong effects"?

Someday, I suppose, there will be medical evidence that makes it more humane or sensible to begin hormones early (before puberty) that that time hasn't come yet.   I'm sure there are things we decide now, about children's health, that will someday be seen as ignorant and barbaric, and waiting until someone is grown for "gender reassignment" (a term that will probably be hooted at, in those future days) will be on the list.

But that's not now.

-=-That said, I think that children are very capable of deciding whether the negative reactions from a transphobic and homophobic community are less or more than their own reactions as a result of 1) not being allowed to express what they consider their true identity and 2) actively lying about who they are.   I think the latter is soul-crushing at any age. -=-

They're capable of guessing, but they might also live in a community in which expressing themselves is unsafe for the child and perhaps for the family, and that could be a consideration for some families.    Soul-crushing is less irrevocable than skull crushing or public humiliation.  Sometimes it's possible that a family might need to be supportive in private and advise toward ambiguity, at best, in public.  

My niece  (just turned 30) was in a play recently that's basically a Shakespeare sampler.

Her description in the program was:
Gina Trujillo is a writer, comic book artist, and all around geek.  Her dramatic tendencies and androgynous look have landed her in a wide range of roles, both on and off the state.  She is older than she looks and this is due to the fact that she refuses to grow up, ever, resolving to become Peter Pan instead.

She played more male roles than female that night, and both equally well. :-)

Gina was never a feminine girl, though she was a great collector of My Little Ponies. Her being unschooled made her life easier, and she's been in a relationship for fifteen years with another homeschooled girl—though at first they were best friends, and it gradually evolved to be a life partnership.  I knew before her mom did, because they talked to me when they were 17 or so about how others in their hometown (where I grew up, too) called them lesbians, and were not always nice.  I took it as a hypothetical, general request for assistance, and brainstormed with them things they might say or do to dodge nonsense, but didn't ask any more questions.  I knew by their glances and the relaxation of their shoulders at certain points in the conversation that it was not hypothetical.  

Female to male is not the same level of problem male to female is.  A girl wearing black and having short hair and playing male parts in Shakespeare plays is not a very big deal.  

A girl who avoided high school locker rooms and whose family wasn't pressuring her to be more "girlie" is going to have an easier go than a family with hopes of pink and sparkles, and school teasing and bullying.

Sandra


Re: Safely and lovingly supporting trans children

 

-=- It was inspired by this morning's "Just Add Light and Stir" entry:

http://justaddlightandstir.blogspot.com/2014/10/listening-and-safety.html

_________________

I'm really sorry! That WAS "this morning's" when the post was written. I shopped with Holly yesterday (to do with Marty's upcoming wedding" and then I slept early and long.

Yesterday's Just Add Light quote was
"When kids know their parents are on their sides, when parents help them find safe ways to do what they want to do, then kids do listen when we help them be safe."—Joyce Fetteroll

It came from http://sandradodd.com/partners/child

Depending on the parents' beliefs, "help" will be one thing or another (or a combination of many things, and maybe even some discouragement).

More and more research is coming along to show that the "two gender" model isn't as clear nor as valid as we've seen it. Some languages even allow for more than one reference (having an intermediary or "other" category.

When Holly filled out forms recently to apply for a visa to visit India, the gender question was not male or female. It was male, female, transgender.

Sandra


Re: Safely and lovingly supporting trans children

Vicki Dennis
 

I think that "living as a different gender"  is very different that taking powerful chemicals or doing irreversible surgery.
I would like to see more communities working to be accepting  of various combinations of practicing gender and the sex assigned at birth and the biological sex based on DNA.   

I think that the intersex child (for instance, having what seems to be a vagina but also internal testes) should be allowed to grow and to decide which gender they are in their brain.   By the same token trans children (whose genitals may be  ambiguous or whose DNA and genitalia perfectly match but whose brain says the opposite gender from the body should be allowed to "try on"  various gender models and neither shamed nor pushed to make an irrevocable decision.

We do not allow preteens or young teens the power of consent for sex; I think hormones or surgery have any more extensive lifelong effects.  

That said, I think that children are very capable of deciding whether the negative reactions from a transphobic and homophobic community are less or more than their own reactions as a result of 1) not being allowed to express what they consider their true identity and 2) actively lying about who they are.   I think the latter is soul-crushing at any age.

I have more to say but my main point is I believe parents can accept and support their children without the need for making radical changes while the child is still changing and maturing.    Accept them as they are right now.

vicki



On Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 8:07 PM, treesock@... [AlwaysLearning] <AlwaysLearning@...> wrote:
 

I'm writing with a hypothetical question that has me puzzling some, and hoping some here may be willing to talk through it on the forum so I can listen in. It was inspired by this morning's "Just Add Light and Stir" entry: 

http://justaddlightandstir.blogspot.com/2014/10/listening-and-safety.html

Reading it, I was reminded of a recent conversation between my husband, my mother and me about transgender children who approach their parents wanting to take hormones that allow them to develop as the gender they feel that they are rather than the one they are assigned at birth. We talked about this in light of the "helping them find safe ways to do what they want to do," and specifically about situations when the children are willing to accept the potential physical, mental, and emotional risks to themselves but their parents aren't comfortable with it.

So, the question is, what would it look like to safely and lovingly help a transgender child to live the way they feel is right for them, from an unschooling perspective, if that included wanting to change their hormones and the appearance of their bodies.

Thanks for your thoughts. Just so you know a bit of where I'm coming from, I have a sibling who lived as a different gender from about age 4 to about age 8. Even though this issue isn't present with my own children, it's one close to me, and I'm hoping to get clearer about what kinds of thoughts and actions are helpful in these situations.

Teresa




Re: Questions

 

-=-  I know for Ethan, he will laugh and laugh at the antics of characters he would never (or at least very rarely) attempt to imitate.-=-

In the ancient days, when homeschooling was first discussed online and The Simpsons was a new show, many parents said they would NEVER let that show into their homes, and that their children would NEVER see that show, lest they become like Bart.  

Maybe it would have done some of those moms good to become more like Marge. 

And nobody said "My husband, if he watches that program, will be like Homer!"

Perhaps it's the "empty vessel"/tabula rasa belief that children become what they see, rather than seeing that children are born with a personality, and traits, and preferences.  Some kids were like Bart before that program's creator was ever born.   

So there IS influence, and there is encouragement or neglect, but it's not usually a problem when thoughtful unschooling is a solid factor in a family's life.

Sandra

4121 - 4140 of 78864