Re: Trusting kids

KleinCon (
Wed, 22 Apr 1998 01:30:07 EDT

In a message dated 98-04-21 23:46:01 EDT, Mimsy wrote:

<< But I think every family that chooses to send a child to a
sudbury school is opening the door for re-examining the way they do almost
everything. >>

I agree. I have always framed the issue as being a matter of becoming very
clear on what is "mine" as an individual and as a parent, what is "our's" as a
family, and what is "their's" for each member of the family.

To that end, and a propos of other recent discussions here, I have always been
drawn to Neill's distinction between freedom and license. To wit:

If it is _my_ piano, then you (child or other) have no right to destroy it.

If it is _your_ money, then you have the right to use it as you see fit,
subject only to not infringing with others' rights, including the right not to
have to take you to the hospital if you "see fit" to use it on something

If it is _our_ vacation, then we must all negotiate. It is not up to me to
drag you somewhere you don't want to go, but neither is it up to you three
kids to out-vote me and _require_ me to drive you somewhere I don't want to
go. It is, after all, _my_ car and _my_ body.

These distinctions, of course, render somewhat sterile the complex and
personal interworkings of the relationships in a loving family, but they have
provided me with what have proved to be useful "bottom lines" in gauging my
parenting and partnering within the family.

Make sense? Other ideas?