Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] parenting teens

From: Jennifer Blair <>
Date: Wed Sep 29 07:49:01 2004

On the point of curfew...
This recently came up with my 14 1/2 year old. He wants to go out late at night skateboarding and filming when, there are less people in the way, less police interference, and less cars in the parking garage where they like to skateboard. He and his friends are safe and trustworthy kids and I have always trusted them. I think sometimes the issue is not trusting other people. Basically, I was afraid that different, untrustworthy, people might be out after dark. After talking this through with my son, I realized it was a ridiculous assumption I gleaned from somewhere. I'm not sure what the point of curfew is. I know some people think its wrong for kids to be allowed out late and it might reflect on me, but I wouldn't restrict my son's freedom over my concern with appearances.

  ----- Original Message -----
  Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 7:37 PM
  Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] parenting teens


  All rules are based on mistrust. Otherwise we would let everyone do what
  they want because we trusted them to do the right thing. If we trusted
  everyone to drive safely, we wouldn't need speed limits. But, as a
  society, we realise that we need to inform/compel what the maximum
  (or minimum) speed is allowed based on the road's conditions. And based
  on your teen's, or husband's or your own "conditions", you will also set
  rules, if you feel that you or they can't be "trusted". ( I'm like that with
  cake, myself ) Even God felt compelled to give Moses ten "commandments"
  rather than ten "suggestions".

  I would advise trusting your "gut". You may make a few mistakes along the
  way but you will develop a consistency that your teen will appreciate. Plus,
  the mistakes are how we aquire the background, develop the criteria and
  formulate our reasoning.

  As a teacher, I've spent a lot of time with students of all ages. I can give you
  6 12-14 year olds that you could trust home alone taking care of your infant
  child, and 6 others you wouldn't trust even if you were right there with them.

  1) Exhale.

  2) Pay attention and do your best.

  3) Forgive those who err,

  4) Forgive yourself when you do

  5) Repeat.

  Prayers and Blessings,


> Robin,
> Perhaps if my "feelings" were as strong as yours sound to me, I would be
> better able to negotiate ( I refuse to take an authoritave approach.
> Everyone else's feelings count, too !). I think my problem is that I am not
> secure with my decisions. I don't have the background, criteria, reasoning,
> etc. for situations that are new to me. It's even harder when things come
> up unexpectedly.
> Would any of you ( on this list ) leave 6 12-14 year olds home alone ?
> Older teens ? What about when they start driving; do you condone just
> driving around ? Do you ask to know where they are at all times? If so,
> why? If not, why not ? What's the point of a curfew ? All these "rules"
> seem based on mistrust.
> Ann
> ---- Original Message -----
> From: <<>>
> To: <<>>
> Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 3:53 PM
> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] parenting teens
> > Hi, Ann,
> > This reminds me of some of my own concerns. It occurs to me that you let
> your husband make the decision and then you weren't happy with his decision,
> regardless of whether he was right or not. You could have made the decision
> yourself and said it had to be 10, period, and, regardless of whether that
> was "right", they would have to abide by it, because your feelings count.
> What occurs to me is that it all turns on my feelings, intuitions,
> anxieties, etc. My husband is always more relaxed about things like this.
> Either my feelings about things are important and respected and people abide
> by the implications etc. or I have to be willing to change my feelings with
> EFT or counseling or biofeedback or something, on the assumption that my
> concerns are exaggerated. This is not a solution to your problem, obviously,
> just some thoughts I have had about the problem of anxieties about
> children -- including younger children testing their wings -- which has
> troubled me a lot.
> > Best regards,
> > Robin
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Ann Ide <<>>
> > Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 1:38 pm
> > Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] parenting teens
> >
> > > Hi everyone,
> > >
> > > Just when you think you're getting the hang of it, a new stage
> > > comes along, right ? My son is now 14, and I'm feeling like I
> > > don't know how to make judgement calls as his parent anymore. As
> > > a Sudbury Valley kid, he has grown to expect trust at school and
> > > at home. So far, I haven't had a problem with giving it to him.
> > > But now he is beginning to ask for trust where I am not so sure it
> > > is okay. For example, he had 5 friends sleepover here over the
> > > weekend, ages 12-13. After dark,they wanted to walk down to the
> > > neighborhood center and hang out ( where there is a pizza shop,
> > > dunkin donuts, etc. ). Around 10 pm, when they still weren't
> > > home, I sent my husband out to look for them. He came back saying
> > > they said they would be home by midnight. They were just hanging
> > > around and talking; and he was fine with it. He did it when he
> > > was a kid, roaming all over. I was not okay with it. We live in
> > > a very safe neighborhood. I don't think I am concerned about them
> > > being approached or attacked, altho' they could meet up with other
> > > kids looking for trouble; but unlikely around here. Still......
> > >
> > > I have read that the part of the brain that is responsible for
> > > judgement isn't fully developed until much later in life; and that
> > > is one reason why so many teenagers make "mistakes". They are
> > > convinced they know what they're doing. ( I think teenagers are
> > > convinced they know everything else, too. I did! Must be the
> > > hormone surges.) Anyway, I know that to learn judgement one needs
> > > to exercise it and learn through experience; but how far do I go
> > > to allow that to happen.
> > >
> > > Some parents allow the girls and boys to sleep in the same room on
> > > coed sleepovers; otrhers don't. I'm sure more things will show
> > > up. What criteria do I use in deciding how much to let my
> > > teenager make his own decisions; and when do I intervene? And, if
> > > I do, how do I do it without resentment ? So often it is just an
> > > intangible comfort zone, without any rational reason to
> > > articulate.
> > >
> > > What have you folks learned ?
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > >
> > > Ann Ide
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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Received on Wed Sep 29 2004 - 07:48:04 EDT

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