Re: DSM: Living the model

From: MssKolleen@aol.com
Date: Wed May 16 2001 - 22:02:58 EDT


Alan, Thanks for some profound questions. Its the ingredient that makes this
pot boil :-)

In a message dated 5/16/01 6:25:29 AM, Alan@klein.net writes:

<<To what extent do we see Sudbury/democratic schooling as informing/mirroring
<<our parenting styles? How does this manifest itself?

Personally, I find that SM complements a lifestyle that I have chosen long
before I even heard of SVS. One thing I can say for certain is that it
reminds me of the my goal as a parent at times when I know I'm not choosing
to take the high road.
I have found that its a support system (even if a silent partner at times) to
the fact that I have chosen aspects in my life that are not 'yet' mainstream.

It manifests many times over when my son comes home and is applying the
'rules' for democracy at our house. He even comes up with some of the laws at
Cedarwood Sudbury and wants to institute them in our house, such as the messy
box!

>>Are there those who see themselves as following the "model" completely (or

>>at least attempting to) at home?

Our lifestyle was always based on respect for children and their needs and
wants. Attachment parenting as some people call it. I could never understand
why people thought new babies were so much 'trouble' in the night. My son
slept between us from day 1 and when it was time to eat he just patted me on
the back if I was turned around and I would feed him while drifing back to
sleep. I got so much more sleep then than I do now!!! =) Sometimes he ate
every hour all day long. He was born 10.3 and was a hungry little thing!
Its amazing to see a 3 or 4 week old squirm their way across a king size bed
to get their food. Wow, children are just so amazing if we let them be
themselves!
I remember reading the book 'Whole Parent/Whole Child" Polly Beriends(?) and
it just sung to me. After that, discovering some of Daniel's writings in
Mothering Magazine was a natural progression. It fit in with an already
existing paradigm.

Against the helpful hints from others, the kid grew teeth, learned to walk and
 talk without ANY encouragment from me or his father. Our hands off attitude
would upset people. But interestingly enough, he did all those things. His
first word was 'bird' because I had parrots for 15 years and when Michael
came into the picture, they both were very curious of eachother. Hence, how
he learned to climb up the stairs by chasing them around the house. What a
great sight to sit back and watch!

I felt so bad for the kids at the park whose parents would ask "oh, your son
speaks (walks, has so many teeth, socializes) so well, how old is he" and
after I would mumble the answer they would just look at their kid and get
exasperted. So sad for the kids and for the parents. Why must we (as a
culture) judge standards?

Sadder to see were the parents that clapped for the children turning them
into trained seals. What a heartache to see a child not going down a sliding
board until all eyes were upon her/him.. and after.. just waiting for the
applause. Do those poor children even enjoy what they did *sigh* All I could
imagine how much their insecure little egos would need in school with gold
stars and kudos from the teacher for their performances. How much damage is
done before they even get to school?

>>Are there those who, dare I say it, attempt a sort of hybrid model?

yikes! I can just hear the sizzle of the heat off of that! :-) You got spunk
Alan :-)

>>Are there differences in the home situation that mitigate against applying

the model?

Yes, again, personally for our family. Its the same issues that I face as a
parent at the school itself. Which are basically health/safety issues and
those will be there as long as these issues exist in the world.

>>How about current and former staff at democratic schools? How would we

describe our parenting styles?

I would definately be interested in hearing from others. Parent, staff,
students (former and/or present) anyone care to share???

 
humbly,
Kolleen

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