Re: DSM: RE: pre-Sudbury parental conduct
Thu, 11 Jan 2001 08:42:42 EST

Have to say I certainly agree that when I was a staff member I didn't help
with every request that came along, either, and didn't think I should. I was
never swayed by the kids who tried to tell me I _had_ to drive them to the
mall because they couldn't drive themselves. I was really thinking about
starting from the basic principle that when someone asks for help, if you can
give it, you ought to. But it's definitely true that this doesn't mean you
have to be a slave to someone's whims, or do things that go against your
beliefs, or compromise yourself unreasonably. With the chocolate example, if
I had been dealing with an older kid, or one of whatever age who could
understand _why_ I was saying no, I probably would have gone with my first
reaction. But at 18 months, my son could only understand that I was saying
"no" for no reason whatsoever - when I had opened them for him plenty of
times in the past. And also I felt like I was imposing some kind of weird
moral thing on him by saying, "you can do that yourself therefore you
_should_ (on principle) ." Not to say that this would never be an appropriate
response, but in this case I was definitely doing it for the wrong reasons,
and I didn't like it.

Scott's and Alan's points are particularly well made. This question of what
you do with your own kids (especially babies) is really a good one, isn't it?


In a message dated 01/10/2001 10:04:12 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

> One of the advantages of a "large" school, such as SVS, is that there can be
> a number of staff around, each of whom has their own style, interests, and
> things to offer students at the school. Even in a small school, (Highland
> has never had more than 25-30, I believe), I have never seen staff as there
> at the beck and call of students. If we submerge - or, worse, defy - our
> beliefs and values, then we have sabotaged our ability to be fully present,
> fully functioning adults. We have done the students a grave disservice.
> said, I have experienced myself, and have observed and read about others,
> entering into all sorts of arrangements to do something we may not be crazy
> about, if we can be convinced that a student really wants it. Danny's story
> about teaching a group of kids math from old, stuffy textbooks is a great
> example of this.
> ~Alan

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