DSM: Re: The freedom to say "No" or "Yes" according to one's own free will

From: Shelli Buhr (shellibuhr@earthlink.net)
Date: Sun Jan 27 2002 - 21:10:47 EST


a child might well enjoy > a greater degree of freedom OUTSIDE the Sudbury
school than
> IN it!

17 year old girl has been in various foster and group homes since she was
14- mom herion addict, dad disowned her. This last year, she made some major
life choices. She decided that she didnt want to be in the system any
longer. she has managed to care for herself by prostitution and her pimp.

when she was 16, she said to me, "I cant believe that in 15 months I am
going to legally be an adult and out of the system and I have to take care
of myself. I am scared about how I am going to live.

I was in awe. First, she didnt even realize that she WAS traking care of
herself. She probably didnt realize how much that pimp depended on her even.
In her mind, her programming, she still thinks someone is as someone taking
care of her. Her attitude was that the prostitution was only for now, and
when she turns 18, it is real life.

 a child might well enjoy > a greater degree of freedom OUTSIDE the Sudbury
school than
> IN it!

Yes, but are these children mature enough to realize it? There is
responsibility in both situations, inside or outside. I think the value in
the schools is that you are learning in such a manner that empowers the
children to deal with whatever situation without getting specific.

 I think that when one offers a child freedom, in all fairness that
> freedom should be the SAME as one would offer to any adult

I agree with this view. In fact, if I didnt, then I would think the child
would consider me to be hypocritical. My job as a parent, is to teach my
chlidren how to parent themselves. From what I have seen so far with SVS's,
I do not feel I have ever read anything to lead me to think this was not
being upheld. .

> The only exceptions should be in cases where a child's life or health
> could seriously be in danger, such as insisting on holding the hand
> of a very young child when crossing a busy road!

Many of these examples I feel are basic respect issues. I dont think this
would be any different if in a public school rather than SVS. Seeing my
nephews, friends, etc. they all kind of look out for one another, especially
the younger ones.

>>otherwise when will they EVER get accustomed to
> saying "No" or"Yes" to any help or advice offered, depending on
> whether they THEMSELVES want it or not?

In a parenting class, the teacher was making a point about how the children
are receiving constant instruction on being told what to do and how to do
it. They wake up, get it from the parents who busily get them out the door,
then a full day of instructions at school, then back home to parents
friends, other authority figures and parents again. I think children are
presented, maybe even unindated with help and offered advice constantly.

How many new mothers got advice from anyone and everyone? Even people we
dont know will crop up with offered tidbits of some secret knowledge of how
they did it. My theory is that most people are bragging of their own
success, mainly becasue they found something that did work!.

I also feel these children are not taking the easy way out. If they were,
they wouldnt care. If a child wants to know something, I gave seen it with
experience that they will ask the questions, many, many times. :O)

Blessings,
Shelli

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