Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] "For the child's own good"?

From: Hughes <>
Date: Sun Dec 11 21:34:00 2005

The inherent problem with "for your own good" is the source of the choice. Vaccinations is an interesting subject to bring up. I had my first child vaccinated, half way through the process with my second child I decided against this assault on the immune system due to personal research. When asked if I had refrained from giving shots to my child for religious reasons, by a medical professional when in the emergency ward, i replied, "No, for intelligent reasons." My third child never had any shots. Well guess what? They all three got Whooping Cough as young children. Now they have excellent antibodies against this disease. I used to tell my kids they needed to go their rooms by ten so I could get some sleep. They just needed to give me my rest. The medical field has consistently dominated the mind-set of the modern thinking, caring parent. How could you possible go without health insurance. How could you not, "Ask your doctor" for everything under the sun? I realized at some point when I was consulting "the best" doctor I could find for my daughter's Lazy-Eye at Children's Hospital that he had been educated in a system in which I had not found much personal value. Despite the "best" position he held, he was constitutionaly unable to admit that no one knows why the body does not use one eye. The great irony here is that my experiences raising my children have educated me. Just being honest with my children that Imay need them to do something for my own good is all that I found necessary in general. It is important to note that the process of raising children and teaching them requires constant vigilence and response. Not forcing them does not mean that one does nothing. It means that one needs to listen first, observe, and wait and see what they have to teach you.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Matt77
  Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2005 8:45 AM
  Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] "For the child's own good"?

  Thanks for all the responses about my piano/foreign language question. I have a million more questions, but I'll try to ask them one at a time, so I don't wear you all out...! (It's REALLY helpful to me to hear what everyone has to say. I only recently learned about Sudbury schools, and their approach resonates so strongly with me that I'm having a difficult time deciding if I can or should keep my job as a teacher in a traditional school in the future. So I want to learn as much as I can from people who have experience with Sudbury schools.)

  I'd like to stay with the same general topic as my last question, but broaden it a little. Within the general guidelines of the Sudbury model, are there ANY cases when an adult (parent or staff) should force a child to do something the he/she doesn't want to do for what the adult perceives to be the child's own good? I've read someone mention the case of clear, immediate danger to the ch! ild (eg. making a child stop and look both ways before crossing a street), but are there other cases? I guess I'm looking specifically for REAL experiences that people who work/live with the Sudbury model have encountered, but if you can come up with any hypothetical cases I'd also like to hear them.

  (I realize the word "force" is a bit loaded. (The words "encouragement" and "coercion" and so on have certainly gotten a lot of attention on this forum.) Can we assume for the sake of this discussion that "forcing" occurs when an interaction with a child moves beyond the extent of any normal interaction we might have with another adult when we suggest something that we think they might be interested in doing (eg watching a good movie) - that is, dropping the subject when we feel they've heard us out fully, understood us correctly, and in the end responded with a "no", without our resorting to saying "Come on, just give it a go!" or "Please??" or in any wa! y asking them to disregard their reasoned decision.)

  Forcing kids to get vaccinations or take medicine? To go to bed early? Don't know...

  - Matt

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Received on Sun Dec 11 2005 - 21:33:40 EST

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