DSM: sudbury in the home

From: Ann Ide (ann.ide@rcn.com)
Date: Sun Dec 02 2001 - 20:42:30 EST

Greetings to all,

Aw, shucks. No simple formulas for me, huh? Thanks so much to everyone who has sent in their ideas and experiences. It was a feast of food for thought today. Went into a bit of overwhelm and took some time to process and accept myself as a beginner once again in the learning process of being a parent (even though I have an 11 and a 7 year old).

Scott raised a few particulary good questions for me: You suggest that we can rely on respect for privacy and a person's abilities to look out for themselves. Well, "look out for themselves" is so broad. I feel I need to ongoingly access their "abilities" in a number of domains. In the area of play and learning- I can leave them be. But areas like health, safety, learning to share responsibilities around the house and be considerate of others...to name a few, they do not seem to exhibit competence and good judgement all the time. Is this one of the parental "responsibilities" you suggest? It's always such a tough call to make and not always consistent- making it worse. At school, it seems, "abilities" are not a consideration. Could you also say more about what the standards are for power of attorney? As I understand them, it relates to someone not being competent enough to make judgements on their own. So I have the responsibility of determining that also?

The other part of this whole equation( I wish it were so simple ) is what to do when kids don't "agree" with our accessments, requests, etc. Reasoning just doesn't seem to work all the time- especially with my very indignant 7 year old who seems to be very much exploring what his rights are ( as are we!) and still seems to be very egocentric. I hate coming up with "consequences" or "sentences" as they are called in school. Without a neutral JC, it seems to trigger the power struggle thing no matter how we approach it. Brooks, thanks so much for the web site on "Taking Children Seriously". I had not heard of this non-coercive parenting. Will be looking for one of the recommended books. Sounds VERY intriguing as a possible home complement for Sudbury families.

Thanks again to all; and feel free to add more!

Ann Ide


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