Hard odd topics with pointers toward and away.
Some of the topics addressed in brief below, all of which come around periodically:
From discussions on Radical Unschooling Info, regarding priorities:
Sarah Dickinson wrote a brief but brilliant response to this:Any pointers on artificial additives please? How do you deal with processed foods containing all sorts of unnatural ingredients you know are not good for a growing body (or even a grown body, for that matter).
"Take small steps toward positive change."
Sylvia Woodman wrote:
When I first started going to LLL meetings there was one mom (not a leader) in the group who was very gung-ho about boycotting Nestle and other companies who were connected with evil formula companies.
And I remember so vividly the leader very gently saying something to the effect that she could never keep track of all the companies she was not supposed to support and she found it much simpler to just spend time every day supporting moms who wanted to breastfeed and that eventually that would have a greater and more positive effect on the world she lived in.
It was an aha! moment—don't focus on the negative or how awful the situation is—take small steps toward positive change. Denying my kids Nestle chocolate isn't going to bring the formula industry to its knees. But helping my neighbor who just had a new baby , bringing her a meal or unloading her dishwasher are small things that I can do that will make a huge difference for my neighbor.
Joyce Fetteroll wrote, of details on a corn allergy:
On Sep 15, 2006, at 1:49 PM, someone wrote:There are indeed things in this world that happen to kids that create a state where a child simply cannot control their behavior.And people *have* suggested allergies, including corn, when posters have described behavior that seems beyond the ordinary.
Calm and too calm?
On the Live and Learn Conference list, after the 2006 conference, a mom reported a calm serenity she hadn't experienced before, and there was some discussion (responses in black are Sandra Dodd):
-=-my passivity was really an in-the-moment thing that came from my desire to take the situation to a new level. Because lately nothing had been working. My help had been rejected, sometimes violently, which is why I didn't step in with it right away. -=-I could feel the calm in all of your writing, I was just afraid you might've been TOO calm. :-)
The week before the conference, I dropped an egg on the floor. Just fumbled it, splat, and I looked at it. I remembered the first time I ever spilled anything and remained really calm. It was baby bathwater, when Kirby was just six months old or so. We were due to a meeting (LLL? Probably, or some appointment) soon, and I had given him a bath and had him all dressed to go, and wanted to pour the tub out. In moving it from the kitchen table over to the sink (a short distance at our old house--nobody who's recently been to our new house should bother to envision) it bent and like two or three gallons of soapy water went all over the floor.
I didn't cuss myself out, didn't stomp or yell or ANYthing. I just looked at it and thought the floor needed to be cleaned anyway, and I threw some rags or towels down on it so it wouldn't get away, and figured I'd clean it up better later. I never felt shame or embarrassment or frustration or the feeling that life isn't fair or that I was stupid. That was new to me, and I was 33.
A week and some ago, I dropped an egg calmly and realized it had been 20 years since I had to get angry and emotional over making a mistake like that.
-=-I guess in watching the situation play out I was hoping to both gain some deeper insight into the dynamic and see if they could come to some resolution on their own. I can say, several days later, that there does seem to be a genuine shift with them.-=-Very, very cool.
Someone asked How exactly did you get to that point?
#1, wanting to be there and moving gradually toward it.
"Exactly" can't work the same for everyone, except for the desire and the movement toward.
Tools in my case, though, included prior knowledge of meditation as a tool (not always used regularly, but a state I was aware was attainable)
Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings, and readings
La Leche League, and readings, and being around mothers I wanted to be like, and seeing that the patterns I grew up with weren't inevitable, or normal or desireable or inescapable.
I think all the things I found are included in one way or another in the unschooling discussions at UnschoolingDiscussion and its offshoot lists, on my site and Joyce's, and some people might (depending on their history and current stage of mothering) benefit from participation in self-help and group help organizations such as those above, or AA, or Co-dependency meetings, or books or websites about those, or books of affirmations.
If every conscious decision is taken with the intention of getting closer to the way one wants to be, then in a "getting warm / getting cold" way, it's not nearly as distant as one might have thought. You never even have to leave your regular house, car, family. It's right where you are, only the thoughts are different.
-=-So, I restate my point, no one can tell you if you are doing the right thing, only you know that. -=-I can most definitely tell someone that I think they are or are not doing the right thing. I can tell them based on my years of experience as a parent and extensive observation of other peoples' parenting, that I think punitive parenting is a bad idea and that radical unschooling style parenting is "doing the right thing."
Why on earth could I NOT tell people these things? Why would I run a list at all if I didn't think people could tell each other these kinds of things? I think it is beyond hogwash, it is dangerous to tell parents that only "they" know if they're doing the right thing. Parents have justified absolutely all kinds of horrific parenting in the name of thinking only "they know right thing to do."
I gave a speech once, a college graduation requirement, and one of the judges said to me, "You don't need to say, 'I think,' or 'It is my opinion that,' or other qualifiers, all the time." He said that if it is coming out of my mouth (or my fingers), then it is my idea, opinion, or interpretation and people know that, I don't have to tell them. He said I only need to tell them whose idea it is IF I'm giving someone else's ideas, not my own. He said it sounded like I was hedging, not really believing what I was saying, no confident.
Children are better off if parents do not spank them. I believe I'm right about that and it applies to ALL children and I don't care if their parents think they know what's right for them, I think what is right is for adults to refrain from hitting children.
I used spanking as an example, above, because it is a clear and specific "thing." But I believe the same about other less-easily-defined parenting approaches.
I see no need to hedge. I'm not chasing down people and forcing them to listen to me. If they don't agree with what I say, they can ignore me and walk away shaking their heads about how misguided I am.
Joyce, Sandra, and I own this list and we aren't interested in supporting parents in doing whatever the hell they happen to think feels right to them. Our purpose is to get people to consider and adopt radical unschooling, it is helping people understand it, helping them implement it, helping them live it deeply and joyously. We believe that the discussions here will result in happier lives for many children.
"When people ask about being happier and more positive, the answer can't help but be the same. BE happier. BE positive." —Sandra ( read more)