Re: DSM: Re: Re: Re: sudbury in the home

From: Karen Locke (
Date: Wed Dec 05 2001 - 09:58:30 EST

Interesting discussion!

When I feel like "influencing", I sometimes do and sometimes don't . What
I notice is that mostly I'm afraid. Afraid that if I don't do something
they'll ....get sick (if eating junk food or watching too much t.v.
or.....), or people will think I'm a bad parent (if they don't bathe often
enough or dress neatly or....). Sometimes if I'm feeling healthy I look at
my fears rationally. I ate junk food and watched t v all the time as a
kid and didn't get sick. What people think about my parenting skills is
what they think, and it has as much to do with their own fears as with what
I do. If I can act not out of fear but out of love and caring, my
children accept what I say better. I've mostly left bedtime, eating,
bathing, dressing, etc. up to my children since they were about 8 or so
(they're now 18 and 12). They make "bad" decisions sometimes, but I leave
the consequences to them. If my daughter isn't ready for her ride to
school she has to walk. If she makes herself sick she stays home by
herself because I work. I'm not sure what too much tv is, but if there's
an effect she feels it in her body and decides differently next time.


At 10:17 PM 12/4/2001 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi all,
>Decision-making and deciding on rules isn't where I struggle so much. I
>hate having to come up with consequences for breaking the rules. Can't
>always come up with something that's logical. But more than that, what I
>am most perplexed about is that I still feel compelled to influence my
>children even in areas that " only affect them". Without my influence,
>Kenny and Jesse would watch tv from the time they get home from school for
>the rest of the night. They would also choose to sit inside all day on
>weekends, mostly watching tv. They don't ask to learn sports, even how to
>ride a bike. (Mark and I are always going out to exercise, even do our
>weight work at home.) They would choose other poor health habits, if I
>let them. They have a friend over and choose to watch a video- I ask
>them to "play" first for a while. I influence. Can't help it! I know I
>interfere a LOT less than non-Sudbury folk. I'm just wondering how pure I
>"should or could" be.
>Ann Ide
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <>Romey Pittman
>To: <>
>Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 8:58 PM
>Subject: DSM: Re: Re: sudbury in the home
>Romey at Fairhaven here. This is an ongoing question for me too. I have
>found, without really planning it, that the main distinction between my
>parenting and that of, say, my non-Sudbury siblings whose parenting style
>might otherwise be similar, is that I am very clear about what my rules
>are and don't arbitrarily make up rules on the spot, or just boss my kids
>around. Most (all?) of our rules were come up with in some form of
>informal family meeting, but I am definitely the primary enforcer (just
>like staff are at school, I guess). We have lots of rules in the house -
>no eating on the couch, at the computer or piano or in bedrooms, no junk
>food snacks within an hour of dinner, have to have baths at least once a
>week (gross, I know), change clothes (well, at least underwear) on school
>days, and have bedtimes early enough that they can get up without a fight
>or a lot of nagging to get to school for my staff shift, hitting results
>in having to go upstairs of a while, etc. But we somehow came to them by
>negotiating my needs (I don't want to cook a dinner no one will eat, or
>have to clean gross food messes in hidden places, nag grumpy kids to get
>up) against theirs, and some really basic healthcare responsibilities I
>think are mine until they are older (don't ask me when...) like having to
>take medicine, take baths occasionally, etc.. We sat down and talked
>about some problem I'm having (or they are having) and we figure out a
>rule or new practice to address it. It's definitely rule-based, but not
>necessarily democratic. Another major compulsion I struggle with but
>uphold is that they have to spend scheduled times at their Dad's house
>(we're divorced) whether they want to or not (mostly they do). I'm not
>sure I'm right and I don't pretend to have all the answers (to them or
>you), but those seem to be my basic operating practices...I'd love to hear
>where others draw lines between individual choice and group democracy and
>the kind of parental/property owner rights Alan spoke of.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <>Alan Klein
>To: <>
>Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2001 8:46 PM
>Subject: DSM: Re: sudbury in the home
>As a staff member and a parent at a democratic school, I never found this
>to be a problem. For me the key ingredients are clarity and respect.
>Specifically, I think it is important for parents to be clear about our
>own needs. As parents, we own the home and the property in it, except that
>which is personally the kids'. We do no one a favor by pretending that we
>will allow democratic decision-making to control OUR stuff.
>Democratic decision-making, even at school, is only used for those
>decisions that affect the community at large and its property. Kids at
>democratic schools (and at home) make their own, independent, decisions
>all day in areas that only affect them. Respecting these decisions, in
>either setting, is vital.
>Kids seem to be able to discern quite easily the expectations and rules
>that govern various settings, so long as we don't confuse them by telling
>them it is one thing, when it is really another.
>~Alan Klein
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <>morticia crone
>i've heard said that this list is meant to discuss the model of education
>that is sudbury, got that. for the record, in case this is relevant, i
>haven't read any sudbury books - my sm info comes from the net. so,
>assuming all families have internal discrepencies, disagreements,
>difficulties, and hoping that i'm not being too off-topic, here, i'd like
>to ask some sudbury parents:
>whether and if so, how they *implement* democracy in the home? perhaps
>it's not too much to assume that no one attempts the sm in the home to a
>complete degree.
>assuming this is correct, how do your children relate to non-democracy
>(partial democracy, whatever) in the home?
>do you, the parents, attempt democratic solutions, and what are the results?
>do sudbury kids expect life outside of school to follow the same lines as
>within their school? how is the differentiation explained to the children?


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