Sandra Dodd

A song by the Animals has come to mind, partly because it's been a
kind of 60's revival around here, and partly because Holly has a
serious boyfriend--a good one--and he has an Animals song on his
playlist (not the one I quoted in the subject line). I asked her a
few days ago whether he likes 60's music, and she shrugged and
thought and said "some..." and then I looked at his Project Playlist
and it has several good 60's things, mostly in reference to his love
of Holly. Pretty sweet.

I had an e-mail to go look at a blogpost. I did. I found this in
the comments, by someone I don't know and isn't on this list, so this
is like third hand stranger quote, but I thought of something
potentially new (to me) and important:

"if I let the kids do what they wanted, they would play computer
games or watch tv all day"

It has been pointed out before that schoolkids watch TV as private
recovery time from having been powerless and put-upon all day. It
has also been pointed out that if parents don't have anything more
alluring and exciting to offer, they should let their kids do the
most alluring and exciting thing (which might be video games or TV).
Honestly, if I'm not providing Holly with an exciting afternoon,
maybe re-runs on FOX TV can!

The phrase "if I let the kids do what they wanted" is the negative
image of "I don't let the kids do what they want."

Going through my page on such dire predictions (which is "If I let" and not "I
filet," for those of you who are thinking sharp knives and fish),
here are some of the other statements clearly seen in the reflection
of the glass each parent freely chose to share with the world:

I don't let him/them. 1111
My boys are not allowed to self-direct (or they would be reading
Hardy Boys!)
I don't let him.
She is not left to herself to be inspired (or she would read all day!!)
My son doesn't have his way.
We drag his nose away from things.
They're not allowed to.
I don't leave him to his own plans.
I don't let my kids hang out.
I won't try that.
We don't allow them to.
I say that's enough--get outside and play, now.
We make him once in a while.
My boys are lazy (that's a direct quote--same in the image as the
reflection; bummer)
I don't allow.
I don't leave him to his own devices.
He doesn't have his choice.
He doesn't have his way.
We make him stop.
I limit it.
They're not allowed to.

Friends (say I, from my soapbox) THAT is exactly WHY some children
would love nothing more than to face a screen all day and never turn
around, because when they do turn around (or way before, it seems)
someone is making them, telling them, insulting them, NOT allowing,
giving, leaving, letting.

If a child feels powerless he will be needy of power.
If a child feels limited, he will be needy of freedom.
If a child is never left alone and never left to choose, he will need
privacy and choices.

First give them all those things. THEN you will see natural learning
and good relationships.