Sandra Dodd

I know one of these people but not both and I'm not trying to pick on
a person, but just to bring a real-life example. So if you know who
they are, let that be secret, please. Generic people. The first one,
I know, reads a lot about unschooling and leans heavily that way.
The other I would say I know know nothing about, but... I can say I
don't know who she is and I know no particulars about her family.

The exchange was in semi-public (facebook):

"My fabulous 15yo helped me scrub the floor this afternoon--in the
heat--and then watched the little ones while I took a nap. And then
she made dinner. Somehow I think I got the better end of this deal. :) "

One of the responses was:

"Oh how I envy you. My 15 year old has to be told to unload the
dishwasher everyday. She has had this job for 6 years now. Everyday,
it's like the first time she's ever heard me tell her to do it. ;)
Your teenager is a keeper."

If it had been in any unschooling discussion context, I would have
said the obvious things people would say on this list, that if it's
"her job" for six year, that will keep her from wanting to do it, and
that if someone is "told" to do something, she can never, ever do it
without being told.

But I couldn't say it there. I brought it here, to get it out of my
system. Hope you don't mind.

If someone is down in a hole, the view of the sky is very small. The
view of the surrounding area is nonexistent.
If someone peeks out of the hole, more sky; more ground.
If one moves totally away from the hole, and climbs up higher and
higher, the world looks like a completely different place and the hole
is forgotten.


Ed Wendell

I was at the doctor getting a physical the other day and she asked if I had any children. I said one - she asked how old - I said 16. She smiled and said "Oh, that has it's own set of stressors doesn't it, having a teen? " I replied with a smile and happiness in my voice "Not at all. He is a joy. A very wonderful person." It kind of threw her off for a moment because I did not answer affirmative about the trials and tribulations of a teen. I know she ment it as a conversational piece but I've made it my mission that every time someone mentions stress due to teens I respond with what a joy our son is and how wonderful a person he is - which is true! Even if we were just having a bad moment <BWG>

This is connected to chores in that becasue we do not have set chores and make him do "X,Y,Z" he is a joy - a wonderful person. That's not the only reason of course but it does change the dynamics of the relationship. If I chose to insist on chores then that would add stress to the relationship. Instead at age 16 we can ask him if he would please do "X,Y,Z" and he usually does it with a "sure!" For example if it's trash night and we ask if he will help by gathering the upstairs trash while I clean out the fridge, and dad gather's recycles - and he jumps up and does it. "Zac, would you please gather up your scattered dishes so I can wash them - and he does it." And he is getting better about not leaving them laying around - becasue I've asked nicely if he could please remember to take them to the kitchen as he goes about his day so I can keep them washed. I too gather them up as I move around the house - it's not all on him. When I get up in the morning, if he left stuff on the desk by the computer, I just haul it all to the kitchen - with a smile to myself - thinking well he must have had a midnight snack last night - no different than I would do for my husband of 26 years - or he would do for me.

Lisa W.

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