Re: DSM: RE: pre-Sudbury parental conduct

Alan Klein (
Wed, 10 Jan 2001 18:06:10 -0500

Cary raises an interesting question here. (My response and question follow.)

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
> But okay, I admit it, I'm not perfect at it. The other day he was eating
> Hershey's Kisses one after another, which I was not thrilled about, but
> only myself to blame for leaving them right there on the coffee table, and
> after he had opened and eaten about four he started asking me to open them
> for him. And I actually said, "If you can open them yourself then you have
> do that - I don't want to help you eat those." Oy!
> The good news is that I'm pretty good about catching myself. About one
> after I refused to help him open the kisses I remembered being a staff
> in an SM school, where the practice reflected a genuine value of mine -
> if someone asks for help, _you give it_. Duh. So I opened as many kisses
> he wanted, silently vowing that I'd learned my lesson and would never
> large quantities of chocolate lying aroung again.

My take on this is that her initial reaction, if an honest one, was quite
appropriate. As an eight year veteran staff member in a democratic school or
as a parent, I believe that I am under no obligation to help everyone do
everything, particularly if I believe it will be harmful to them or to
others or to property. I may be obliged not to intervene if I believe the
harm is simply to themselves, but I am under no obligation to help.

How do others see this?

~Alan Klein

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu Mar 29 2001 - 11:16:11 EST