RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] parenting teens

From: Geert Wester <>
Date: Wed Sep 29 17:33:00 2004

Dear Ann,

Sorry if you feel I interrupt in your discussion. I am a father of some
teenagers, of which one is on a sudbury-based school here in Holland.
I (think I) understand your remarks and feelings. I read the suggestions
made in the answers.
What strikes me is the two options that are mentioned: to hide the feelings
or to translate them into decisions.
Yes, they are your feelings, and I feel they need to be respected, by
yourself as well as by your children.
Why not share your feelings, even when they are not clear, about your
children and their friends.
Why not try to come to a shared decision about what to do?
When it comes to trust your children, maybe the trust to share your feelings
and the way they will treat you is part of it.

Wish you all the best!


-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
[]Namens Ann Ide
Verzonden: dinsdag 28 september 2004 23:17
Onderwerp: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] parenting teens


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.


---- 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 - 17:32:06 EDT

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