Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] parental dilemma

From: Madeleine Hesselink <>
Date: Wed Feb 15 13:27:00 2006

Hi Ann--
 When I was a kid, there were no personal computers but I was a bookworm. I did not do any physical activity. My parents let me stay up as late as I wanted to. I usually slept in late and getting up was an issue since I went to a regular school. When I was 15 we started unschooling (though did not call it that at the time or really know about it as a movement). Still I stayed up late and got up late. Still I did hardly any physical activity except maybe occasionally hiking with friends. Slowly as I got older, I began to go to bed earlier and get up earlier. I began to discover physical activity and how much I loved it. Now at age 27, I do yoga 6-7 days a week, garden whenever I can (alot), go hiking, biking etc. I got here entirely on my own with no prodding, poking, or interference from anyone. Obviously I can't guarantee that it will be the same for your son. And as a parent, I know how impossible it is to just stand by watch your childen behaving in ways that are
 harmful to themselves. But maybe this story will let you relax just a little bit and maybe even admit to your son that this may be your issue that you are asking for help with, not his that you are helping with.
 Sit down and have a talk with him: This is what I see: you are getting up late, it is affecting you in this way, you are not getting enough exercise, I see it affecting you in this way, these are the possible consequences for the future. As someone who loves you, it is my responsibilty to point this out and to let you know that I cannot in good conscience enable these behaviors in any way.
 Ask his opinion. Do you see any of this as a problem? Why or why not? Is there anything you can do to help reassure me (that this is not a problem, that you are making an effort to change this, whatever you need reassurance for). How can we work together to resolve this problem? Remember that if he does not see it as a problem, then it is your problem, not his.
 Some final food for thought:
 --are there any consequences at school for being late?
  --Do you and his father participate in much physical activity?
  --Are there any things you can do as a family that include physical activity?
 --Have you been doing active family outings since he was a kid?
 --If he is open to working on this, you could make some agreements that work for both of you, such as him trying out martial arts (for example) for a set amount of time and in exchange you will relax about him going to school late or whatever works for the two of you.
Received on Wed Feb 15 2006 - 13:26:54 EST

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