Becoming Voiceless – May 5, 2005
Today, I have been editing articles for the July/August issue of Life Learning magazine. Canadian broadcaster, writer and unschooling mom Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko has contributed a wonderful interview with popular unschooling writer and conference speaker Sandra Dodd, who lives in New Mexico. One of the things Sandra said to Beatrice during their wide-ranging conversation was: “If your child is bored, you could offer her three or four really cool things to do. Whereas, my mom and millions of other moms would say, ‘If you are bored mop the floor. If you’re bored, you can go and pull weeds.’ That is punishing a child for communicating with you!”
As I read that quote, I flashbacked to circa 1960 and heard and saw my own mother using those same words. And I experienced all over again the hurt and frustration of being punished for innocently sharing my summer vacation dilemma. I’m not sure if my mother wanted to solve my boredom problem or punish me, but she most surely shut down future communication with her. Perhaps she truly believed that children – and perhaps women – should be, or actually were, voiceless. But Sandra’s words made me understand why today, at a sprightly and relatively independent 96 years of age, my mother seems apathetic. Her reaction to most of my suggestions is that she can’t be bothered. And why would anyone bother doing or saying anything if they had felt for most of their lifetime that their actions or words weren’t important?
Posted: 2005/05/04 8:22 PM