Re: DSM: public school prisons (sharing the SVS model, etc.)

Marko Koskinen (
Tue, 14 Nov 2000 18:16:27 +0200


I think I know exactly what you mean. It is quite a frustrating task to
do. I have been trying to sell the idea in the education markets here in
Finland and I've come to a conclusion that you really shouldn't "try to
sell" it. The most effective way to change people's thinking is to fully
respect them and listen to them. You may first introduce some fresh
ideas and then start listening. People usually can keep on telling you
how wrong you are and how impossible your ideas are. You mustn't argue,
just listen. It may take a while, but at least I've had some good
experiences doing it.

I've had much help from RC (Re-evaluation Counseling) for my efforts in
listening to people. I have still much to do to be able to respect all
people fully, but that's the goal.

When people are respected and listened to, they will listen in turn and
are able to change their thinking. But it must be you who must respect
first because you want to change the thinking of the other person.

Just as we must respect the children, we must respect and trust the
adults too. Adults are no worse than children, they just have a bit more
stuff inside their heads, and it takes a lot more respect and trust to
change the thinking and behaviour of an adult than it takes for a child.

I believe the NVC (Non-Violent Communication) is also a useful tool for
finding new ways to communicate with "difficult people".

Marko Koskinen

> This is very discouraging to me. I know you don't mean it to be. But I've
> found parents to be very difficult to reach when it comes to how they relate to
> their children, because that seems to be where they put all the unresolved
> problems and conflicts from their own childhoods. Lots of irrationality and
> knee-jerk response when you head into that area.
> If it's just a matter of spreading a new idea, that's not all that hard to do.
> But when the idea hits at the core of someone's existence and demands them to go
> through painful self-examination and change, it's no wonder that Mimsy said that
> parents who worried about their children in a Sudbury school were beyond help.
> It looks as if we're permanently limited to a small market.
> So in selling the idea of our new school, I can continually expect to come up
> against the irrational programming and "old stuff" type of issues in the parents
> I talk to? I hate the thought of just letting them go and looking for the few
> who are ready to have independent children. Any suggestions?

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