Adrean Clark

I have been reading with interest all the comments about video games but
I still find it hard to believe that allowing kids full rein of
electronics for months on end will actually help them learn
self-control. Is there anyone that has seen the end result of it?

I sold our n64 because the boys were constantly fighting about using it.
It didn't help that the oldest has a competitive streak in him and I
don't really want to encourage (it was learned, not ingrained, I think).
We have no TV or games, only Macs and videophones. Sometimes we play
free games online like bigfishgames.com, hotwheels.com or lego.com. I've
bought Alice Greenfingers and I think Simcity 2000 is on my computer.

I don't intend to criticize, I'm just curious and wanting to understand
y'all's perspective.

--Adrean

wuweimama

> I have been reading with interest all the comments about video games
but > I still find it hard to believe that allowing kids full rein of
> electronics for months on end will actually help them learn
> self-control. Is there anyone that has seen the end result of it?
>


I just joined Unschooling_Gamers and found this fabulous article
linked! "Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Video Games":
http://www.livingjoyfully.ca/unschoo...ow_article.htm


HTH, Pat


Joyce Fetteroll

On Nov 2, 2007, at 5:26 PM, Adrean Clark wrote:
> Is there anyone that has seen the end result of it?

No. This totally unlimited TV, video game, computer time, book
reading, eating, playing time is just a totally blind experiment to
see if it will work ;-)

But, yes, when my daughter was in the 10-11 year range she watched *a
lot* of TV. (Which unschoolers will say happens quite often in the
preteen years.) Now it's hard enough to get her to watch what we have
on the TiVo to clear it off. Programs she *wants* to watch but just
has too many other things to do. We also have 3 (it was 5 but 2 died)
game systems (not including the hand helds) but other than Dance
Dance Revolution, they're rarely on.

> I have been reading with interest all the comments about video
> games but
> I still find it hard to believe

Yes, it is hard to believe. It *does* make more sense that when given
free rein that kids will do nothing but watch junk TV, eat junk food,
play video games. It's what everyone says will happen. It's what
controlled kids do on weekends as soon as they can.

> that allowing kids full rein of
> electronics for months on end will actually help them learn
> self-control.

At one time I would have said kids will learn self control but I was
meaning something different by the term. So now I say that's a false
goal. Self control suggests that the child will always want to play
all day but will decide to limit themselves to 1 or 2 or 5 hours of
play and turn it off after that amount of time.

No, what happens is that they play to their limit. The limit might be
how much time they have to play (before a play date or going
shopping) or the limit might be how long they feel like playing. What
they learn is not self control but to listen to the inner voice of
how much they feel like playing.

But to parents of children with limits "as long as they feel like it"
*sounds* like all day everyday. Parents may even have experienced all
day gaming sessions when they've relaxed the rules so they "know" if
there were no rules that that is exactly what their kids will do.

But what those parents have experienced is what their *controlled*
kids are like. They know what their *controlled* kids do when the
rules are relaxed.

Kids who have freedom are totally different creatures than controlled
kids who are given moments of freedom. The difference is as stark as
a school group of a field trip to the museum and a family on a visit
the kids have planned.

For parents who have dropped the rules entirely so that the kids have
gained the confidence that the rules won't come back, "as much as
they want to" *isn't* all day everyday. It might be all day initially
when the kids are trying to catch up on all the gaming they've been
denied. It might be initially while the kids try to cram as much
gaming in as they can before the limits return. But once the kids
know they can turn off the game (or TV or computer) and come back to
it any time they want, they aren't playing desperately any more.
They're playing because they want to in that moment.

If you scroll down the menu on the left at:

http://joyfullyrejoycing.com/

there's lots more on video games and TV. It's probably one of the
most frequent topics here! (Though my forte is helping people see why
they think their beliefs are true and why those beliefs aren't true.
Other people here are good at explaining the practical
implementation: what to do instead of what they're doing now.)

> I sold our n64 because the boys were constantly fighting about
> using it.
>
And when you step back and look at the problem solving technique you
modeled for them, you've told them through your actions that when
someone is doing something you don't like, it's perfectly okay to
steal something of theirs. It's perfectly okay to ignore their
feelings because your feelings are more important. You've shown them
with your actions that fighting is an insolvable problem and even
with your 20 plus years on the planet you have no clue on how to
resolve conflicts. So the best method you've come up with is to be
bigger and stronger and make someone do what you want them to do.

*Is* that the model you want to give your kids?

If you ask, mindful parents here can offer ways they've respectfully
resolved conflicts between their kids.

I think one of the traps that most parents fall into is they turn
their kids into the problem. Rather than focusing on ways to help
resolve the problem, they make the problem go away. It's lots easier!
It solves a momentary problem but what they don't see are the
consequences of momentary solutions. It's like sticking a rock in
each leak in the dike without being able to see the dike itself or
what's building behind it.

I think if you were to poll conventional parents to see how they rate
their relationship with their teens and what they think of their
teens as human beings, it would be pretty dismal.

I think if you were to poll unschooling, mindful parents to see how
they rate their relationships with their teens and what they think of
their teens as human beings, it would be pretty high! (And if you go
to an unschooling conference you'd see it with your own eyes.)

*That's* the difference helping them versus controlling them makes.
Helping them be who they are versus shaping them into who we think
they should be.

> It didn't help that the oldest has a competitive streak in him and I
> don't really want to encourage (it was learned, not ingrained, I
> think).
>
Our kids are who they are. Unschooling and mindful parenting doesn't
work with just "nice" kids. In fact it works far better than anything
else with kids who would be labeled by others.

Whether learned or nature, preventing competition doesn't help him
develop the skills to handle the feelings he has inside. It just
drives the need for competition inside where you can't see it. If
you've shown them that overt competition where you can see it is
something that will result in some kind of punishment, what you're
teaching him is to be sneaky about it. He's going to compete when
he's out of your sight. And he won't have anyone to help him work on
developing better skills. What could happen -- what you've
demonstrated is the best method you've found -- is that being bigger
and stronger is the best way to get what you want.

There are plenty of parents here who have competitive children. If
you ask, they'll pass on respectful ways they've helped their
children get what they want without tearing someone down.

Joyce

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

April Morris

Self control was never the issue or goal. At least not in the way I think
you mean it. In our house we have unlimited tv, computers and game systems.
I think we have 4 tvs, 4 or 5 game systems and 4 computers. We have had
unlimited access for at least 6 or 7 years now and we're heading in that
direction for a few years before that. I think I can safely say I have "seen
the end result of it". Yes, they watched a lot tv at first, at least the
older kids did since they had more limits when they were younger.
Interestingly enough, my youngest who was raised with the fewest limits
probably watched less tv then the older kids did when they were younger.
Now I probably watch more tv than the kids do. We have our shows we like to
watch together. But it's really not something I even think about much now.
We lead a busy life. The older kids have jobs, we're involved in 4-H, we
have some homeschool activities we do, my youngest does Odyssey of the Mind,
Karl has choir, the boys and I do church. TV just isn't the center of their
world. It's there and used a lot, but it's just one of the many things we
do. My youngest spends hours a day right now doing some RPG games on-line.
Building characters, worlds, doing research for both. He loves it. Gaming
comes and goes. My 16 year old is saving for an x-box 360 so when we get
that, I'm sure there will be lots of playing for a while. One way we
eliminated the fighting was to be sure there were plenty of computers, game
systems, controllers, games and tvs for everyone. We get them used at the
local game store. TVs are cheap at our local Salvation Army store. Games can
be rented. The other issue of the value of these things....I've stopped
looking for "educational value" in what my kids do, I'm quite convinced they
learn all the time. I know what my kids have learned. (my youngest learned
to read and type playing Rune Scape). If I were to try to explain all that
my kids have learned from games, tv, the computer....sheesh, I'd be here for
an hour....but alas, work calls...so suffice it to say that my kids are
competent. They have jobs in the world, they can hold their own and they are
happy and content.

--
~April
Mom to Kate-21, (out on her own now), Lisa-18, Willis-17, Karl-16, & Ben-12.
*REACH Homeschool Grp, an inclusive group in Oakland County
http://www.reachhomeschool.com
* Michigan Unschoolers
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michigan_unschoolers/
*Check out Chuck's art www.artkunst23.com
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
Gandalf the Grey

On Nov 2, 2007 5:26 PM, Adrean Clark <[email protected]> wrote:

> I have been reading with interest all the comments about video games but
>
> I still find it hard to believe that allowing kids full rein of
> electronics for months on end will actually help them learn
> self-control. Is there anyone that has seen the end result of it?
>
> I sold our n64 because the boys were constantly fighting about using it.
> It didn't help that the oldest has a competitive streak in him and I
> don't really want to encourage (it was learned, not ingrained, I think).
> We have no TV or games, only Macs and videophones. Sometimes we play
> free games online like bigfishgames.com, hotwheels.com or lego.com. I've
> bought Alice Greenfingers and I think Simcity 2000 is on my computer.
>
> I don't intend to criticize, I'm just curious and wanting to understand
> y'all's perspective.
>
> --Adrean
>
>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

[email protected]

-----Original Message-----
From: Adrean Clark <[email protected]>

I have been reading with interest all the comments about video games
but
I still find it hard to believe that allowing kids full rein of
electronics for months on end will actually help them learn
self-control.

-=-=-=-=-

It's not that they learn "self-control." They learn that they are
trusted and respected by their parents. They learn adundance---that
they can have all they want and never feel deprived. When those needs
are *met*, they don't feel the deprivation and scarcity of limitations,
so they will be open to do *other* things. But until that need is met,
thay will gorge at any and every possible moment.

Putting a time limit on *how long* you will lift the limits won't help.
If you say (even just to yourself!), "I'll give them unlimited access
to these games for a month,"---they'll see right through that. Even a
year! They'll know you're not really serious, and at the end of that
time, they will be just as involved as ever. The *worst* thing to do is
to waffle between lifting limits and settng them again and again---you
lose that trust that is so desperately needed.

The trick is to raise the limits indefinitely, join them in their love
of the games, help them when they're strugglilng, play WITH them, and
believe that these are fabulous learning tools! <G>

As adults, WE ALL have the means and opportunity to do whatever we want
whenever we want. Why don't we just do *that* (fill in your obsession
of choice! <G>)? Is it because someone else has imposed limits? Or is
it because we choose what is important at this moment?

-=-=-=-=-=-

Is there anyone that has seen the end result of it?

-=-=-=-=-

I have a 19 year old and an 11 year old. The 19 year old was never
really into gaming (but he watched a LOT of TV and played on the
computer for hours & hours each day while deschooling!), but he's been
immersed in other things for extended times: Magic, skateboarding,
filming, drumming, cooking---to the exclusion of almost all other
things. That's the way he learns best---total immersion. It seems
obsessive, but as son as he's mastered it to the point he's satisfied,
he moves on---but not without all the knowledge he's gained from each
immersion. Then he touches each in a cennected way with the others.

My 11 year old is a BIG gamer. Unlimited. Some days, he's on the games
the entire day. It's what he loves. But because he *knows* he has
unlimited access here, he's perfectly happy to do other things. Getting
him to help me or go out with me is easy because he knows I support his
passion. Some of his schooled/limited friends refuse to do anything
while they have their few hours of gaming each week. They rush through
their chores, they rush through their homework, they rush through their
meals to that they can have the precious little time on the games
that's allowed after all the other requirements are met. When they are
nere, all they want to do is to game. Duncan tries to get them to swim
or play outside, but they only have eyes for the game systems.

The end result is that they *know* that their passion will be fed, so
they are willing to use their time for other things too. Including
reading. <bwg>

-=-=-=-=-=-

I sold our n64 because the boys were constantly fighting about using
it.

-=-=-=-=-

So what was the lesson learned there? Might is right?

Was it financially possible to buy another Nintendo64? and another few
games? Wouldn't that have also solved the problem?

-=-=-=-=-

It didn't help that the oldest has a competitive streak in him and I
don't really want to encourage (it was learned, not ingrained, I
think).

-=-=-=-=-=-

Hard to say---nurture vs nature. But better to learn to deal with the
feelings than suppress them (daughter of a shrink here! <G>).

-=-=-=-=-=-

We have no TV or games, only Macs and videophones. Sometimes we play
free games online like bigfishgames.com, hotwheels.com or lego.com.
I've
bought Alice Greenfingers and I think Simcity 2000 is on my computer.

-=-=-=-=-

Why no TV or games?



~Kelly

Kelly Lovejoy
Conference Coordinator
Live and Learn Unschooling Conference
http://www.LiveandLearnConference.org


________________________________________________________________________
Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! -
http://mail.aol.com

Adrean Clark

I'm still reading all of your responses, but I'm not finished --

Here's the full story about the n64. We were living with my parents
because I had separated from my husband (power and control issues, might
is right, etc.). My uncle gave the boys a n64, loaded with games. He'd
play a lot and my mother, who refused to buy video games while I was
growing up, would keep nudging me about it. The younger twins wanted to
play too, and they'd squabble over it. I tried several solutions but in
the end I just felt bothered over the whole thing. So I talked with Jael
about it and said, you guys fight over it so much, I don't like that.
Some of the games have fighting and competition in it and I don't
support that. (See aforemented products of the abusive marriage.) What
do you think? I suggest selling the N64. The money you get for it, you
can buy something else with it. We talked over it and he agreed with
selling it. So we sold it and he had the money to buy another toy that
he wanted. I think they all bought Transformers with it. Not a perfect
situation but I tried.

The good thing is that my husband went to counseling and that cycle
seems to be done with. But I do struggle with what I was raised with and
what I was exposed to. I talk with my kids a lot more than before, and
try to use the principles of positive parenting. I want them to grow
into responsible adults and I have been giving them more decisions, etc.
It is a process for all of us.

As to why we don't have more than one system, TV, etc. I can't afford
cable, nor can I afford $200 systems. My income is so low I'd feel
guilty buying those things. We have broadband internet because I'm Deaf,
an ASL signer, and the VP is used for Video Relay and calling other Deaf
friends. The Macs are from my freelance designer days. We make do with
what we got. I'm especially thankful that despite my income I still can
stay at home with the boys.

--Adrean

healthunlimited1

I just stumbled across a very intersting article called "You Play World of Warcraft? You're
Hired" This is a real life example of how a guy got a job because he played the game so well.
Very interesting!!

Shileen

Kelli Traaseth

Please check out Mark Prensky's site. It's full of great info. Here's the page with his writings:

http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/default.asp


We do a lot of gaming in our house. I can't write much right now, we're visiting friends, but if people would like to visit my blog I have quite a few posts about video game playing.







Kelli~


http://ourjoyfullife.blogspot.com/

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." ~Anais Nin



__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

carenkh

-=-=-=-=-=-
> I still find it hard to believe that allowing kids full rein of
> electronics for months on end will actually help them learn
> self-control. Is there anyone that has seen the end result of it?

-=-=-=-=-=-

I still find it hard to believe that controlling how much kids play,
when they can play, and which games they play will actually help them
learn self-control. Is there anyone that has seen the end result of it?

Not to be snarky, but... how can *you* controlling someone else teach
them *self*-control? I was "disciplined" as a child - meaning someone
else controlled my actions (around them, anyway) through coercion and
punishment. I did *not* learn self-discipline. I learned distrust of
and alienation from that parent. Perhaps most harmful, distrust of my
own inner voice. It has taken years (and years and years) to regain
that. "The end result" of not limiting games, TV, etc. is that my kids
are learning to listen to *their own* inner guidance about how much is
"too much". They are learning what *they* enjoy, not what I think they
should enjoy.

And the end result, for me, is not that ultimately they'll watch or
play less. It used to be, before I really understood unschooling. (and
when I still demonized TV) I used to think "OK, if I "let them" watch
all they want, eventually they'll tire of it and move on." Now, the
phrase "let them" seems foreign to me, and I have the attitude of
hoping what they're doing is bringing them joy, whether that's
watching TV, gaming, building a Lego city, or playing outdoors.

It's a bit difficult to explain how that shift occurred, but the word
"allowing" comes to mind. I let go, then let go some more, and in the
process discovered a deeper connection with my kids than I knew was
possible... and because of the inner work involved, a deeper
connection with myself.

Gassho ~
Caren

Julie

> Is there anyone that has seen the end result of it?

I have and I have only been doing this for a few short weeks. My son
(12yo) was a total addict when it came to video games. He spent every
waking moment that he could playing them, and nothing else would exist
except as a deterrent to playing his beloved games. He came home from
school, plowed through his homework without taking a bit of it in, and
did whatever else was necessary to get to his games. I tried to limit
him as much as possible, but finally gave in realizing it was something
that was very important to him.

Then we decided to homeschool, and in the process found unschooling. I
wrote here about it not long ago, and it hit me that his one ambition is
becoming a computer programmer and creating video games when he gets
older, and that is something that is deeply important to him, just like
it was to me when I was growing up to stay up late at night learning to
draw (I'm an artist professionally now). By limiting him on his video
games, I was keeping him from his one love.

I told him he was allowed to play them as much as he wanted to. If he
wanted to stay up late at night he could, if it was important to him. I
even told him I was wrong and related the story of my own youth when I
was fussed out by my mother for staying up all night on a school night
because I was trying to learn how to draw horses. Then something amazing
happened...

My son didn't seem to be as interested in playing his games anymore. He
still plays them, but not to the extent he did before. If he gets a new
game, he will play it for several days straight until he gets to a point
where he burns out on it, or beats the game, but it isn't his whole
focus anymore. He has spent more time outside than ever before, has
started using an anvil and scrap copper that my hubby brings in off the
job (he's a plumber) and has started making jewelry (see the necklace he
made me! http://deschoolingcaleb.blogspot.com/ ) and has become highly
interested in blacksmithing now. He also has taken a deep interest in
making yeast bread with me, and is currently learning to sew.

All in all, he may still spend as much time on the computer as he once
did once you take into account he is no longer spending hours upon hours
in school and doing homework, but for the most part the addiction like
behavior is no longer there. He WANTS to do other things, learn other
things and explore areas he never really showed an interest in before.
He has (on his own) decided to stop watching as many cartoons and
started watching other programs like Myth Busters, and Dirty Jobs and
loves watching animal planet.

He has shocked me with the things he has learned without my help at all.
He told me that pigeon poop can carry up to 60 different diseases,
during a conversation I was having with my daughter about birds. He
comes up with things I never thought he would pick up, but he has been
picking things up and RETAINING the information! If he had been forced
to remember those tidbits for a test in school, he would never have
remembered it simply because he was so intent on getting to his games in
the little spare time he had.

I can't speak to every child out there, but my 12 year old son
definitely has benefited from being allowed to play as many video games
as he wanted and when he wanted. He did for a few weeks stay on WOW
pretty constantly, but now he has branched out and has explored many new
things that otherwise I NEVER could have forced him into in lieu of
video games, he had to do that himself.

I didn't have no hand in this of course, I helped him in every way I
could to be bale to explore things that interested him. He tried banging
some copper on an anvil and I went out and bought him some new tools and
made sure he had plenty of materials and encouragement. He took an
interest in baking breads and I looked up recipes and bought the
necessary supplies. He took an interest in sewing and I went out and got
a few patterns he liked and we are now working on sewing him some new
clothes. I gave him the opportunities to do something other than video
games, but never forced or coerced him into doing something else, or
forced him away from the video games at all. He did that all on his own!

We still have great fun sometimes curling up and playing video games
together, and he has started earning some money on his own to purchase
some of the games he really wants, but it didn't become an all inclusive
thing once he had free rein, it took a back burner to learning other
things, and I have done all in my power to give him that opportunity.

It works. I'm a believer!

Cheers,
Julie

Ren Allen

--- In [email protected], "healthunlimited1"
<[email protected]> wrote:
>
> I just stumbled across a very intersting article called "You Play
World of Warcraft? You're
> Hired" This is a real life example of how a guy got a job because
he played the game so well.
> Very interesting!!
>
> Shileen
>

That's a great article. I googled and found it here:
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.04/learn.html

Wired magazines is one of the few we have a subscription for. I highly
recommend it for anyone that enjoys reading up on new technology,
gaming etc... It's edgy and interesting. Love it.

Ren
learninginfreedom.com

asmb65

> > I sold our n64 because the boys were constantly fighting about
> > using it.
> >
>

For me, the comment I have found most helpful in this regard is to
consider your childrens' issues, requests, etc. in the same way you
would your partners. In other words, if there was something that you
and your partner had to share and both wanted to use at the same time
(say you both had favorite shows that aired at the same time and you
wanted to watch them at the time they aired), you'd probably buy
another TV.

And the same applies to food choices. Truthfully, have you or your
partner ever had a cookie or some chocolate or whatever just before
dinner? But what do parents usually say if a child wants to do the
same?

In short, I always try the, what-if-it-was-me-or-my-partner analogy
before I jump in with rules or decisions.

Susan

Joyce Fetteroll

On Nov 3, 2007, at 10:16 AM, Adrean Clark wrote:

> Here's the full story about the n64.

Really, it's okay. You don't need to explain why you did or do what
you're doing. You did the best you could with what knowledge you had
at the time. It's all any of us ever can do.

Our "job" here on the list is to help people who've come to get a
better understanding of unschooling, understand the principles so
they can apply them to their lives. Our "job" is to help the people
who want to stay focused on where they want to be, stay focused on
where they want to be.

Even those of us who understand the principles do hurtful things
sometimes. We screw up. But we have a clear vision of the parent we
want to be. We have a resource of other parents with similar visions
on whose wisdom we can draw so we can get ourselves back on track if
we can't figure out why things went wrong.

I think the biggest difference between the people who "get" why the
list concentrates on explaining the ideas and not on support is that
some people accept that this is a long process which they can't get
right right away so the goal is to study what's working and not
working and strive to be better, and some people (most people in our
society I think!) are stuck with the school idea that there's one
right answer and if you don't have that one right answer then you're
wrong and bad so they need their spirits lifted to feel good about
themselves.

We're *all* going to make wrong choices. We're *all* going to get
stuck in old style thinking. It's just part of the process.

The goal isn't to be right. The short term goal is to accept being
human and try to figure out how to make the next moment or next time
go better.

The long term goal is to treat our children with the respect we would
fellow human beings (even when they haven't figured out how to be
respectful human beings yet!)

Joyce




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Joyce Fetteroll

On Nov 3, 2007, at 10:16 AM, Adrean Clark wrote:

> Some of the games have fighting and competition in it and I don't
> support that.

This is about ideas that will help or hinder someone creating more
joyful lives in their family and building relationships with their
children.

Our values are our own. When we use those values to control others,
we not only whittle away at our relationship with them but we lessen
others vision of our values.

If my husband didn't want to eat refined sugar,

If you don't like fighting and competition games, then you shouldn't
play them. Preventing others from playing them is using power over
another to get them to do what you want them to do -- just as is done
in fighting!

While what you did at the time may have been a far better solution
than the abuse that was swirling around in your life, it may have
been the best you could do in the place you were in at the time. But
this list isn't for validation. We assume people are trying to do
their best. The list is for examining situations to help people
understand the principles so they can move themselves towards more
joyful lives and better relationships.

The situation with the N64 can either be let go as the best you could
do with the knowledge you had at the time or examined in the light of
new knowledge on what choices you could make now that would build
relationships. (The situation is probably more useful for others
reading in helping them understand the principles. You're too close
to it to be able to see, your own vision is blocking what it looked
and felt like through your children's eyes.)

> But I do struggle with what I was raised with and
> what I was exposed to.
>

We all do. We all have baggage. Some have more than others and self
examination will be harder and more painful.

> I talk with my kids a lot more than before, and
> try to use the principles of positive parenting. I want them to grow
> into responsible adults and I have been giving them more decisions,
> etc.
> It is a process for all of us.
>
It is. And don't beat yourself up when you screw up. Ask yourself how
you can make the next moment better, what other *better* choices you
have. Pam Sorooshian often suggests giving yourself two choices in a
situation and then picking the better one. It may not be the elusive
"best" but don't try to be perfect, just keep working toward the
perfect vision. It's a journey but without that focus on where we
want to be it's hard to get there! This list is all about helping
people keep focused on getting better and better.

> As to why we don't have more than one system, TV, etc. I can't afford
> cable, nor can I afford $200 systems. My income is so low I'd feel
> guilty buying those things.
>
You aren't the only low income person here so there *is* wisdom from
others who feel the tightness of purse strings. There are swaps and
barters and trades. When we keep "can't" in our vocabulary we erect
walls that we're certain are real and "can't" be gotten around. And
often "can't" is a justification for denying a heartfelt need from a
child that we think isn't important or is inconvenient for us. It's
quite often a time for self examination. A better response is "How
can we make that happen?"

Joyce

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Adrean Clark

Joyce, I appreciate all that you have said. Forgive me if I am too...
in-depth sometimes. In Deaf culture we tend to be very blunt and verbose
at times - strangers can come away knowing each other's family trees and
about Weird Second Cousin Al. I'm not going to do that but feel free to
kick me under the table if I do. ;)
--Adrean

Adrean Clark

I mailed out the papers to set up our homeschool last week. While I've
homeschooled before in Minn and briefly here (a very inexperienced form
of unschooling) I don't particularly look forward to informing my family
of our choice. My oldest is thrilled to stay home as school has been
stressful for him.

My parents are black-and-white type of people and can cause some serious
drama. Now I am under no obligation to tell them anything, but they do
help me a lot, especially with the upcoming ACL/meniscus surgery on my
right knee (for the curious, I snapped the ACL while skateboarding).
Some of the choices I make also affect them. They feel obligated to be
involved with the kids while not actually doing the same work I've been
doing with the boys.

I can feel the explosion coming on the horizon. Anyone been through
this? How can I minimize the chaos?
--Adrean

Joyce Fetteroll

On Nov 4, 2007, at 6:06 AM, Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

> If my husband didn't want to eat refined sugar,

Oops, didn't finish.

If my husband didn't want to eat refined sugar, I'd help him in his
quest and avoid cooking things for him that had refined sugar.

But if he decided the family couldn't keep Coke in the refrigerator,
or that all of us needed to give up refined sugar, then that's control.

It wouldn't create a peaceful atmosphere or enhance relationships for
him to decide we need to adhere to his adopted values.

Joyce

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

healthunlimited1

--- In [email protected], "healthunlimited1" <[email protected]>
wrote:
>
> I just stumbled across a very intersting article called "You Play World of Warcraft? You're
> Hired" This is a real life example of how a guy got a job because he played the game so
well.


Oops... I didn't include the web address: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.04/
learn.html

Shileen

Melissa

I wanted to share a story in relation to this topic, because when we
say "How can we...?" we really open ourselves up to all the wonderful
things in the universe that CAN happen. I have so many examples of
this just from this past week, that I'm giddy to share. Josh is a
technophile, and it is hard to support that while supporting a family
of nine. We've gotten lucky, the local university often sells
computers and monitors for $35 to $40, so we have been able to pick
up several over the years. Josh has a computer, but really really
wants a laptop. We had just watched the Secret, and Josh turned to me
and said "I'm going to have a laptop by Christmas!" I was thinking to
myself, HOW?! But I didn't share that negativity with him...I just
let it go through me. I tried to fret about the cost, the cheapest
I've seen is $600, and there was no way we could do that while
maintaining our debt free lifestyle. So I prayed about it, he's been
visualizing it, and we just got a phone call from a waiver program
saying that they've decided to offer computers (desktop and laptop)
on the program. We signed our agreement that we'd like one, and ETA
is December 21st. Around the same time he decided that he wanted a
PDA. I just affirmed it, saying "I don't know how that will happen,
that will be GREAT!" Just something to help keep him on track with
schedules and appointments, etc. Not just any PDA but a certain
model, with all the cables, connectors, and a keyboard. Lo and
behold, Friday night my dad stops by with a box from my brother.
Inside is TWO PDA's, with all the connectors, manuals, and software
to hook it up to his computer.

Those are things that the universe has just dropped in our laps, let
me share how Emily has worked on "how can we make it happen?" She
really wanted a pair of heelies, and I told her that would be great,
but I couldn't afford to buy them right now. So we tried to come up
with some alternatives (ebay, knock-offs, etc) Well, one of her
friend's dads overheard her saying that she was working on making
that happen, and it just so happens that when he bought a pair for
his daughter, he had bid on another and forgotten to cancel. So, he
offered to sell them to us for what he paid, plus shipping. She had
some cash, sold her rollerblades, and negotiated with him to help
pull his tomato cages off of his rather large veggie garden to work
off the rest. So she got a pair of heelies for $20 and three hours of
labor.

I just wanted to share, that yes, cash can be tight, but there are so
many options when you look at how you CAN do things, and be open to
letting the universe deliver. It's been an amazing week!
Melissa
Mom to Josh (12), Breanna (10), Emily (8), Rachel (7), Sam (6), Dan
(4), and Avari Rose (19 months)

share our lives at
http://360.yahoo.com/multimomma



On Nov 4, 2007, at 5:06 AM, Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

> And
> often "can't" is a justification for denying a heartfelt need from a
> child that we think isn't important or is inconvenient for us. It's
> quite often a time for self examination. A better response is "How
> can we make that happen?"



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

BRIAN POLIKOWSKY

Even those of us who understand the principles do hurtful things
sometimes. We screw up. But we have a clear vision of the parent we
want to be. We have a resource of other parents with similar visions
on whose wisdom we can draw so we can get ourselves back on track if
we can't figure out why things went wrong
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am one of those who have a clear vision of the parent I want to be and I totally get it but sometimes I don't react to my kids the way I want to. Those old tapes in your head ( I don't believe them) keep getting in the way when I am tired, hungry, frustrated, stressed.
Its a process and I need this list `. I need the kick in the butt. I have even called Kelly Lovejoy ( Thank you so much Kelly) to get a "kick" when I was stuck being less than I want to be.
Thank you to all this wonderful moms here. I couldn't possible name all of them.
Thank you to the list owners.
Thank you the friends I made at Live and Learn.
Thank you to people who take their time writing about unschooling
I have learned so much here and at AU.
I have learned to be a better parent and spouse.
Alex




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

[email protected]

<<Or that he only wants to be a professional guitar player, and I don't
think he needs algebra
to be able to play that guitar fantastically. What can 9th grade do
to help him become a better professional War Craft player? >>

My dh gets paid to watch tv. There's a lot more to what he does than just
watch, but that really is a big part of his job. So if his parents would've
told him when he was a kid, "Nobody's going to pay you to watch tv" they
would've been completely wrong.

I think it's interesting to look at what people do for a living, and think
about what kinds of things they might have been (or could have been but were
prevented from) doing as kids to "prepare."

Patty







************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Joyce Fetteroll

On Nov 4, 2007, at 7:24 AM, Adrean Clark wrote:

> Forgive me if I am too...
> in-depth sometimes.

It's all right. I didn't call attention to your explanation because I
was uncomfortable. I pointed it out because going back to defend a
past decision won't help *you*. It won't help you see the situation
from your boy's points of view. It won't help you feel what it's like
to have someone take something that belongs to you and make decisions
about it "for your own good" and so they can feel better. So it's
better to just set it aside and move onto something that will help.

Ask yourself "What do they want and how can I help them get it?"

(Though in our house a running joke is that the one cat we have that
never seems quite satisfied with life is thinking "What do I want and
how can I get them to give it to me?" ;-)

Joyce

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Debra Rossing

>If my husband didn't want to eat refined sugar, I'd help him in his
quest and avoid cooking things for him that had refined sugar.

>But if he decided the family couldn't keep Coke in the refrigerator, or
that all of us needed to give up refined sugar, then that's control.

For most people, I could make a reasonable case that I "should"
limit/control what comes into the house as far as sugary stuff goes - I
was diagnosed in January of this year with type 2 diabetes. So, for most
mainstream folks, that means I kick all of DS' and DH's favorite 'sweet
things' out of the house entirely (not to mention pasta, potatoes,
homemade bread, etc) because they're 'bad' for me. Nope. Not happening.
It's my *choice* of what to eat. I can *choose* to get as much
nutritional bang for my carb buck. I can *choose* to have 3 snack size
Snickers bars. Some choices are better than others but they are my
choices, they are not mandates to be enforced on my family. That said, I
do ask for their help sometimes (hey guys, those Snickers bars are
calling me, can we put that bowl of candy someplace else for now?) and
since DH is the head chef at our house, he's getting really good at low
carb, low glycemic cooking that is tasty for everyone.

Deb

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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Debra Rossing

OOh so what does he do that he gets paid to watch TV - I'd love to
actually know of a profession like that (by name) to toss into
conversations when this kind of stuff comes up.

Deb

**********************************************************************
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This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept by
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Meredith

--- In [email protected], Adrean Clark <[email protected]>
wrote:
> I don't particularly look forward to informing my family
> of our choice.

I've found it helpful with relatives, in particular, to note that
there are a whole lot of regular childcare practices that just
aren't necessary if the kids aren't in school. I've also found it
helpful to tell grandparents that I'm perfectly happy with
them "spoiling" my kids! Between the two, that seems to help my
extended family not feel obligated to try to be teachers or
authority figures to my kids. I didn't start talking about
unschooling, in particular, until pretty recently, I just
said "homeschooling for now" and left it at that.

> Some of the choices I make also affect them. They feel obligated
to be
> involved with the kids while not actually doing the same work I've
been
> doing with the boys.

This has been less of an issue with my family, and more with
friends - our neighbors in particular, who are pretty close to us
(emotionally speaking) and also share our workshop building. I've
found that, like with my partner, I have to step back a little and
let them form their own relationships with my kids. I do offer
advice from time to time, but more in the nature of facilitating
communication than anything else.

We did have some rough patches a year ago when they were remodelling
their kitchen and using ours in the meantime - which just so
happened to coincide with Ray moving in. They fell right into the
rather standard way of talking to teenagers - act your age, be
responsible, that sort of thing - and I ended up doing a little mama-
bearing and telling them I wouldn't let them bully him. Not some of
my more tactful moments, but it did nip that whole dynamic in the
bud.

There certainly was a bit of floundering around, relationship-wise,
as they tried to figure out how to be friends with a young teen
without telling him what to do all the time, but in the long run I
think they all have a much stronger relationship. That's something
to consider and be sensitive toward - that if you are telling your
parents "don't be telling my kids what to do" even in a very gentle
mannner, they may feel uncertain and adrift.

---Meredith (Mo 6, Ray 14)

Meredith

--- In [email protected], [email protected] wrote:
>> I think it's interesting to look at what people do for a living,
and think
> about what kinds of things they might have been (or could have
been but were
> prevented from) doing as kids to "prepare."

My personal favorite is coloring. I don't know how many times I was
told "you can't make a living coloring" as a kid. And now I design
and create quilts - which involves a good bit of coloring. Some
people do that on the computer, but I still like to get a brand new
box of crayons and just color to my heart's content. Ahhhhh.

My brother has managed to involve his teenage love of bicycle racing
into his current profession designing commercial airplanes - both on
a conceptual and a nuts and bolts level.

You really *don't* know what bit of interest will carry over into
grown-up professional life.

---Meredith (Mo 6, Ray 14)

carenkh

-=-=-I don't know how many times I was told "you can't make a living
coloring" as a kid. And now I design and create quilts - which
involves a good bit of coloring.-=-=-


I was just thinking about this today...

We have NO idea what the world will look like when our kids are older.
Thirty years ago, did anyone *know* there would be computers in many
homes? (Besides Steve Jobs, anyway) I remember when the dot-com bubble
was growing, a friend told me she now wished she had never told her
son to "get off the computer and do something else!" Back when
computer enthusiasts were seen as something extraordinary and geeky,
she wanted him to be "normal". But the definition of what was normal
then has expanded and changed. I can't ask my kids to be "my" normal.
I never wanted to be normal, anyway, but *if* that were important to
me. lol Because who knows what their normal will be?

I do believe that we're tapped into a larger consciousness, and
supporting our kids in their interests helps them stay connected to
that a little more. They'll be guided to *exactly* where they need to
be. Well - they *are* exactly where they need to be! lol Whether or
not I can translate what they're into as a future career. Professional
Bionicle builder, anyone?

peace,
Caren

Tamara Muccia

Thanks for that response... even if it doesn't help Adrean (but i think it will) it will help me with my MIL. :) With my Mom I just say.... you know us and our weirdo hippy stuff... she smiles, rolls her eyes, but respects our wishes because she knows that everything I do is done thoughtfully and with much research, respect, and love :)

Meredith <[email protected]> wrote: --- In [email protected], Adrean Clark <[email protected]>
wrote:
> I don't particularly look forward to informing my family
> of our choice.

I've found it helpful with relatives, in particular, to note that
there are a whole lot of regular childcare practices that just
aren't necessary if the kids aren't in school. I've also found it
helpful to tell grandparents that I'm perfectly happy with
them "spoiling" my kids! Between the two, that seems to help my
extended family not feel obligated to try to be teachers or
authority figures to my kids. I didn't start talking about
unschooling, in particular, until pretty recently, I just
said "homeschooling for now" and left it at that.

> Some of the choices I make also affect them. They feel obligated
to be
> involved with the kids while not actually doing the same work I've
been
> doing with the boys.

This has been less of an issue with my family, and more with
friends - our neighbors in particular, who are pretty close to us
(emotionally speaking) and also share our workshop building. I've
found that, like with my partner, I have to step back a little and
let them form their own relationships with my kids. I do offer
advice from time to time, but more in the nature of facilitating
communication than anything else.

We did have some rough patches a year ago when they were remodelling
their kitchen and using ours in the meantime - which just so
happened to coincide with Ray moving in. They fell right into the
rather standard way of talking to teenagers - act your age, be
responsible, that sort of thing - and I ended up doing a little mama-
bearing and telling them I wouldn't let them bully him. Not some of
my more tactful moments, but it did nip that whole dynamic in the
bud.

There certainly was a bit of floundering around, relationship-wise,
as they tried to figure out how to be friends with a young teen
without telling him what to do all the time, but in the long run I
think they all have a much stronger relationship. That's something
to consider and be sensitive toward - that if you are telling your
parents "don't be telling my kids what to do" even in a very gentle
mannner, they may feel uncertain and adrift.

---Meredith (Mo 6, Ray 14)





__________________________________________________
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

[email protected]

-----Original Message-----
From: carenkh <[email protected]>


I do believe that we're tapped into a larger consciousness, and
supporting our kids in their interests helps them stay connected to
that a little more. They'll be guided to *exactly* where they need to
be. Well - they *are* exactly where they need to be! lol Whether or
not I can translate what they're into as a future career. Professional
Bionicle builder, anyone?

-=-=-=-=-

Well, someone has to DESIGN the blasted Bionicles! <bwg>


~Kelly

Kelly Lovejoy
Conference Coordinator
Live and Learn Unschooling Conference
http://www.LiveandLearnConference.org


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