Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] TCS (was New to Sudbury-Cottage Grove, OR

From: R FAYE BYREM <fbyrem_at_msn.com>
Date: Fri May 30 14:03:01 2003

> This is a hard one - I, too, don't worry too much over my kid's decisions,
> because it's pretty clear they are in the habit of thinking through the
> consequences and not afraid to talk to us parents about them. But some
kids,
> I don't know. Different parents have different experiences, and I've found
> it too hard to make a convincing case for nature/nurture/school or
whatever
> as the sole or prime cause. Some kids seem to be very impulsive, so
> impulsive that I can understand their parent's reluctance to leave many
> decisions in the kid's hands - result of too much control? Nature? Sugar
> intake? TV? I don't know.

I'm just not 'there' (where I would like to be in this) yet, to where I trust my child explicitly in all situations. I'm learning, but there has been an entire (long) lifetime of conditioning to overcome. But if my life now has proven anything, it's that 'old dogs can learn new tricks'..

Not that I'm 'tricking' anyone, but I am changing and growing in ways that I believe most people my age who haven't had much exposure to all these 'new fangled ideas' (as one friend calls it) do.

I do find, though, that the more trust I place in him, the more that trust builds. I was always able to trust him in many ways that I was unable to trust my grown children in when they were younger, but there are some areas that have been very difficult for me. But those issues are quickly becoming 'non issues', as I experience the results of trusting him. And of trusting myself in trusting him.

As the dawning awareness of the gross injustice toward children began to develop into a whole new philosophy for me, I had to test it against all my 'good learning' and everything that had been so deeply ingrained in the deepest parts of me. It was a struggle that I can empathize with in others who are going through the throes of such discovery and change.

That sort of inner struggle reaches far down into the guts and it requires great strength to pass through that tunnel of 'unknowing' and uncertainty. And it is a struggle that could easily turn sour in the face of adversity and challenge from unsympathetic, ignorant, and arrogant people who haven't endured such an intense struggle, and have no compassion for such.

So I learn, as I go, who to trust and who not to trust on this journey, when it comes to disclosure. The stakes are too precious. We weren't meant to continue on this journey alone, and as I build my network of caring and understanding people, my strength grows, and I become more able to face any adversity or challenge that comes my way.

> I remember moms and dads
> freaking out at the park when I'd let my very little ones see how high
they
> could climb up on the play structures. People would be getting up and
> running over to my 18 month old as soon she got 2' off the ground. Me, I
> *tried* (bucking a lifetime of conditioning) to weigh the risk
> realistically, and casually saunter over to be within range of quick help,
> once the kid got high enough to risk real injury - politely shooing other
> parents away, and trying not to convey the panic others were feeling to my
> kid.

This reminds me of an experience with a friend who is constantly pointing out the 'dangers' in normal childhood exploration, especially when it came to our backyard play structure. Steven had conquered the structure so many times as I monitored him, that by the time he was two, it was 'old hat' to him. But, one time too many, my friend suggested that I should be there ready to catch him 'just in case'. I maybe should have been a little more tolerant of her concern, but by that time, I had reached the end of my tolerance level, and blurted out 'well, we thought about having him encased in a big plastic protective shield, 'just in case', but that that would rob him of his freedom'.

I felt a little bad after I had said it and saw the look on her face, but I had grown weary of her questioning my good sense.
Received on Fri May 30 2003 - 14:02:54 EDT

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