Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] parental dilemma

From: Shelli Buhr <shellibuhr_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Wed Feb 15 13:42:00 2006

Anne,
  
  This is such a touchy subject since there are no right answers to parenting. I will make this one comment though. Sudbury philosophy is great, IMO, however, I would not personally grant my child so much freedom in making their decisions.
  
  In parenting, I have adopted this theory. My job as a parent is to "teach" my children to parent themselves. But my job is still to "teach" rather than simply allow. Their is always a balance with my own responsibility as a parent as well. I
  
  IMO kids need (and even if they say they dont want...) want those boundaries to help them feel emotionally safe and secure. As you are realizing, he is not making healthy decisions because he has not yet been taught too. And on another note, kids need to feel safe so they can make those bold moves.
  
  Keep in mind there is always balance. You can offer stability through structure so they can jump off and reach their potential, but sometimes as a parent, it is in their best interest for you to step in or create/uphold basic rules.
  
  Also, as a parent, legally, you have a responsibility. There can be problems for you if social services feels your choice to allow the children to choose could be harmful to them, since the state considers YOU to be responsible for your children, and not your children.
  
  And from one more perspective, even as adults, we are learning. And we dont always learn the easy way as I have quoted that in "earth school" sometimes getting an "F" is the best way to learn the hardest lessons from mistakes; especially as others may tell us before hand it is a mistake, etc... But as a children, without those boundaries, this can hinder decision making skills for their future and can actually make choices later in life more difficult because these "skills" are not learned early on. It's much harder to 'unlearn' something.. hence the "old dog."
  
  Helping them make sound decisions through communication and boundaries and a 'parents right to vote' involved in the choice, may be just the balance you need.
  
  just my 2 cents.
  
  Blessings,
  Shelli

Ann Ide <ann.ide_at_rcn.com> wrote: Hi folks,
   
  As a Sudbury parent, I try as much as possible to incorporate the model's philosophy as home. It's not always appropriate, I realize; but we find it very healthy to maintain it as part of the foundation from which we make decisions.
   
  For a couple of years now, I have been letting my boys decide on their own when they are ready to go to bed, versus having a "bedtime". This hasn't been working out well lately, at least as I see it now. My eleven year old has been staying up until 2am or later, making it difficult to get up in the morning. If I intervene by going upstairs many times to make sure he wakes up, etc., he can finally get up. This is very annoying, and I also don't think it's the best for his health in the long run. Those are my beliefs, anyway. I have tried the natural consequences route, leaving the house to go about my business and letting him miss school, or be really late. Most days he doesn't care. One time he left on his own to walk to school, which we don't like because there are no sidewalks and the roads are narrow, curvy, country roads to school. "Rational" discussions have made no impact. I don't want him to miss school. And he loves school, too!
 So.....any ideas?
   
  On a similar vein, he chooses to be very inactive, staying indoors on DS and laptop most of the time. Yea, that's his passion. But it has now put him into a risky category health-wise.
   
  So, unhealthy choices are being made, with little concern on his part, and much concern from the parents who love him, yet know we can't force him to do anything. Hoping you have some succes stories or wisdom to share.
   
  Frustrated,
   
  Ann

                        
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Received on Wed Feb 15 2006 - 13:41:52 EST

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