[email protected]

In a message dated 8/4/05 10:34:54 PM, [email protected] writes:


>
> We also like Bailey's assertion, as Kiersten mentioned, that you can't
> teach what you don't know--another way to think about it is that you
> can't expect a child to rise to standards of behavior you don't meet
> for yourself. Bailey would say, you have to discipline yourself first.
>

Too much "teach" and "discipline" for me.
Unschooling can operate without either concept.

-=- So, for
instance, if my older son grabs a toy away from my toddler, saying,
"You wanted to make sure you got to play with that toy as much as you
wanted to," or if he grabs a cookie off somebody else's plate, "wow,
you are really enjoying those cookies!"...-=-

-=-(Think about what a different message that sends
than an implicit or explicit characterization of the child as "greedy"
or "grabby" or "selfish."-=-

But there's a world between those two.

If the parent can come to think before acting, so can the child.
"Wait. That's Holly's. Do you want another one?"
That neither praises the child for acting rashly nor condemns him. It's the
way you might deal with a person who isn't also a child.

The examples given up above sound to me very condescending, and I can't help
but hear them in the poodle voice or in the droning on, kid-ignoring-mom tone
I've heard from so many moms in parenting groups when they're really trying to
find a new way but they've gone from physical restraint to just discussion
above the child's level of comprehension, or word count far beyond the child's
attention span. It's as though their speech is really intended for the other
moms or the author of a book who's not even there.

It doesn't help to say "the right thing" if the child is already mentally or
physically off and gone.

It's like music or dance. If the child's actions and attentions have a
certain rhythm, the mom needs to learn how many beats she has to respond or react.
She can stop the music entirely (take him aside and hold his hands and gaze
soulfully while she gives a speech only she is hearing) or she can take her
two or three second window, have a positive effect, and let him continue to
live and act (assuming he's not hurting anyone, and the examples above seemed
easily solveable without stopping all social dance and music).

-=-This has helped my partner and me in looking at our own behaviors, and
in developing expectations of behaviors and treatments that really
apply to the whole family, not with one (higher) standard for kids and
another one for adults.
-=-

This is important when people are going to be respectful of children. It's
the soul of treating children as people. But it's not about teaching or
discipline. It's about mindfulness, respect, honesty and compassion.

Sandra




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

Su Penn

On Aug 5, 2005, at 11:04 AM, [email protected] wrote:

>
> In a message dated 8/4/05 10:34:54 PM, [email protected] writes:
>
>
> >
> > We also like Bailey's assertion, as Kiersten mentioned, that you
> can't
> > teach what you don't know--another way to think about it is that you
> > can't expect a child to rise to standards of behavior you don't meet
> > for yourself. Bailey would say, you have to discipline yourself
> first.
> >
>
> Too much "teach" and "discipline" for me.
> Unschooling can operate without either concept.

Yeah, anyone who reads Bailey will definitely have to "take what works
and leave the rest." She describes useful principles; people who are
uncomfortable with words like "discipline" may find her helpful if they
"read past" the language. People who don't think it's possible to "read
past" the language should probably not read her.

>
> -=- So, for
> instance, if my older son grabs a toy away from my toddler, saying,
> "You wanted to make sure you got to play with that toy as much as you
> wanted to," or if he grabs a cookie off somebody else's plate, "wow,
> you are really enjoying those cookies!"...-=-
>
> -=-(Think about what a different message that sends
> than an implicit or explicit characterization of the child as "greedy"
> or "grabby" or "selfish."-=-
>
> But there's a world between those two.
>
> If the parent can come to think before acting, so can the child.   
> "Wait.   That's Holly's.   Do you want another one?"
> That neither praises the child for acting rashly nor condemns him.  
> It's the
> way you might deal with a person who isn't also a child.  
>
> The examples given up above sound to me very condescending, and I
> can't help
> but hear them in the poodle voice or in the droning on,
> kid-ignoring-mom tone

Well, it doesn't feel like that in our house. And certainly we don't
use that syrupy tone. Sometimes we use a very strong, admiring tone,
very spontaneously, if our son's actions suggest that he is feeling
very strongly about something. Our "wow"s can be quite sincere! What it
feels like to me is trying to recognize that a child is trying to meet
a legitimate need, and also (for little ones) helping to give them the
language for their various feelings and needs. It also has to do with
recognizing that kids may not have all the information we do--one of
Bailey's examples is of a kid hoarding his birthday cupcakes, who might
simply not have any idea they weren't all meant for him, a piece of
information grownups take for granted but that might not be obvious to
a child.

I probably could have thought of better examples; I didn't mean to
suggest that it's OK at our house for a kid to grab things that belong
to others. We have encouraged our older son to think before acting--if
the baby is grabbing something away, not to grab back but to take a
moment and figure out how to get it back without snatching or hitting,
and to ask a grownup for help if he needs it. And he's pretty good at
that. Solutions like you mention, such as, "Can we find another one for
you?" or "Would you like me to help you find something else to play
with while you wait for him to be done with that?" are very common at
our house, too. I simply meant to say that Bailey's philosophy of
attributing a positive motivation to behavior has been a fruitful idea
for us.

> I've heard from so many moms in parenting groups when they're really
> trying to
> find a new way but they've gone from physical restraint to just
> discussion
> above the child's level of comprehension, or word count far beyond
> the child's
> attention span. 

We have not gone to "just discussion" or to conversation above the
child's level of comprehension. Nor do we try to have a "reasonable"
conversation with a kid who is physically or emotionally agitated and
not able to hear it, though we do sometimes revisit things later. I
don't think either I or Bailey suggest saying "the right thing" to a
kid who can't listen, or grandstanding for the benefit of onlookers.
But I certainly know the phenomenon you're describing.

Su

[email protected]

In a message dated 8/5/05 12:42:15 PM, [email protected] writes:


> Solutions like you mention, such as, "Can we find another one for
> you?" or "Would you like me to help you find something else to play
> with while you wait for him to be done with that?" are very common at
> our house, too.
>

Picky me, I'd like to separate myself from the second example. Way too many
words.

Maybe my kids are ADD or something (JOKING, kind of, for those who already
sat up too straight on that one <g>), but even Marty, the mellowest of them all,
wouldn't have lasted through a 22 word message.

I've been in a couple of discussions lately about movies from books,
specifically Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. It's not necessary to put all the
book in, because a lot can be expressed by faces, eyes, gestures, posture,
glances, etc. Some of that doesn't translate to these discussions, though, I
know.

I'm not saying I'm not a verbal person; I am. But in a case of hurt
feelings and extricating a child from the act of cookie swiping or toy grabbing, I
think "Wait—" and a significant look or touch can do more than explanation.
Maybe, in that moment, he'll realize what he's doing and put the item down and
think of a better course of action right then and there, and then it will be
his. Maybe he'll look at the mom in a "huh?" kind of way and by then she'll
have had a couple of seconds to think of the best two or five word follow-on.
"Wait a while" or "There are more in the fridge" or "let's find another one."

Maybe it's my long years of focus on learning instead of teaching. If every
instance calls up a mini-lecture on the principles involved, by the time that
child is a few years older, the mom speeches will be like the wallpaper.

I like the idea that moms should think of saying "NO" as though the child
comes with 200 tickets at birth. Some moms use them all up the first year and
the child ignores "no" forever after.

Maybe it's the same with speeches. Save them for the big stuff.

Helping children learn seems to require fewer words than teaching children
what. All they can do is learn anyway. If they feel the mom owns it all, it
won't be theirs. Their "good decisions" will become obedience, or being a
mama's yes-boy.

I have tried to instill my voice in my children's heads, no denying that, but
I want it to be the voice of reason and humor and "wait, think" and for their
mom messages to be short and useful, not droning with a big "off" switch next
to them.

-=-I simply meant to say that Bailey's philosophy of
attributing a positive motivation to behavior has been a fruitful idea
for us.-=-

Can you give us examples of that in your own real life, from your own
experience? I think that would have more life and breath on this list than
recommending a book that isn't coming from an unschooling place.

Sandra



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

David & Annelise Pierce

On 8/5/05 3:18 PM, "[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote:

Okay, Sandra¹s consistent message about this is slowly wearing me down from
my original position (you don¹t want to hear it!!) Although, Sandra, I do
think you maybe need to use fewer words in your posts on this topic as I
skimmed about the last 3/4 of it !! JK

annelise
>
> In a message dated 8/5/05 12:42:15 PM, [email protected] writes:
>
>
>> > Solutions like you mention, such as, "Can we find another one for
>> > you?" or "Would you like me to help you find something else to play
>> > with while you wait for him to be done with that?" are very common at
>> > our house, too.
>> >
>
> Picky me, I'd like to separate myself from the second example. Way too many
> words.
>
> Maybe my kids are ADD or something (JOKING, kind of, for those who already
> sat up too straight on that one <g>), but even Marty, the mellowest of them
> all,
> wouldn't have lasted through a 22 word message.
>
> I've been in a couple of discussions lately about movies from books,
> specifically Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. It's not necessary to put
> all the
> book in, because a lot can be expressed by faces, eyes, gestures, posture,
> glances, etc. Some of that doesn't translate to these discussions, though, I
> know.
>
> I'm not saying I'm not a verbal person; I am. But in a case of hurt
> feelings and extricating a child from the act of cookie swiping or toy
> grabbing, I
> think "Wait‹" and a significant look or touch can do more than explanation.
> Maybe, in that moment, he'll realize what he's doing and put the item down and
> think of a better course of action right then and there, and then it will be
> his. Maybe he'll look at the mom in a "huh?" kind of way and by then she'll
> have had a couple of seconds to think of the best two or five word follow-on.
> "Wait a while" or "There are more in the fridge" or "let's find another one."
>
> Maybe it's my long years of focus on learning instead of teaching. If every
> instance calls up a mini-lecture on the principles involved, by the time that
> child is a few years older, the mom speeches will be like the wallpaper.
>
> I like the idea that moms should think of saying "NO" as though the child
> comes with 200 tickets at birth. Some moms use them all up the first year
> and
> the child ignores "no" forever after.
>
> Maybe it's the same with speeches. Save them for the big stuff.
>
> Helping children learn seems to require fewer words than teaching children
> what. All they can do is learn anyway. If they feel the mom owns it all,
> it
> won't be theirs. Their "good decisions" will become obedience, or being a
> mama's yes-boy.
>
> I have tried to instill my voice in my children's heads, no denying that, but
> I want it to be the voice of reason and humor and "wait, think" and for their
> mom messages to be short and useful, not droning with a big "off" switch next
> to them.
>
> -=-I simply meant to say that Bailey's philosophy of
> attributing a positive motivation to behavior has been a fruitful idea
> for us.-=-
>
> Can you give us examples of that in your own real life, from your own
> experience? I think that would have more life and breath on this list than
> recommending a book that isn't coming from an unschooling place.
>
> Sandra
>
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>
>
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Kiersten Pasciak

I agree that a great deal of the material (as well as the title) is
not ideal for unschooling. The title, in fact, doesn't seem to fit
the book at all and probably hurts her sales.

As background- I found the book being discussed on
http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/ when looking for advice for a
Dobson follower. She was only willing to read Christian authors. I
was not looking to "discipline" my kids. I was, however, intrigued
by the discussion.

I guess I should list more specifics about why I DID like the book.
Some of these ideas may sound obvious to you, but it came as a shock
to me to hear things spelled out so simply. The family environment I
was raised in did nothing to help me learn these skills...

These are the 7 "attitude shifts" she discusses and what I thought
about them.

Attitude shift 1: Harnessing the Power of Perception (no one can
make you angry without your permission)
Reason: to own your own upset

Notice how your thoughts create your feelings. when you feel angry,
overwhelmed or anxious, check to see what you are thinking, where is
your mind directed?
How often do you use blaming language (You are making me so _____)?
When you blame others, you are giving up your control (of yourself).

I caught myself using blaming language more often than I expected
and have been working hard to own my feelings and accept them.
Strangely, I could accept my kids having big feelings, but was
punishing myself whenever I got overwhelmed by similar emotions.

Attitude Shift 2: Harnessing the Power of Attention
Reason: what you focus on you get more of

Pay Attention to your focus. Are you focusing on what you want or on
what you dont want?" When you are upset, it is almost always because
you are focusing on what you DO NOT want!

I am constantly trying to frame things in terms of what I DO want
now. I hadn't realized how often I said "I can't", "I don't know
how", "I don't want this", etc. I was priming myself to feel BAD. It
is hard for me sometimes to even come up with a positive statement
when I am getting overwhelmed. I am working so hard to pay attention
and make this change. It does work. Changing what I focus on is
changing my attitude and my actions. I feel like I can set a more
positive example for my kids now.

Attitude Shift 3: Harnessing the Power of Free Will
Reason: The only person you can make change is yourself

Change your "shoulds" to "coulds"; Then make a choice and live with
it. Instead of saying I "should" go to the store or I "should" write
those thank-you cards, say I "could" do _______, and then choose. It
is free will. YOU have the right to choose what to do.
Allow others to have their own thoughts and feelings. Pay attention
to what you feel when people disagree with you. (Most of us feel
threatened).

I lived in a world of "shoulds"- guilt self-imposed that I put at
the feet of my mother or grandmother. I willingly felt bad for not
doing what "they" wanted. I feel so much more powerful and in
control since I have been owning my actions. Many times I wouldn't
complete a task because it became this huge albatross of obligation
and sucked away any of my desire to do it. I have felt more
independent and strong since I have been choosing my actions instead
of trying to make other people happy at my own expense.

Attitude Shift 4: Harnessing the Power of unity
Reason: to focus on connecting instead of trying to be special

Take five minutes or more, daily and "just be" with each of your
children. Put aside any agenda, and simply enjoy their company.

This one wasn't too powerful for me, but I am with them almost 24/7,
so 5 minutes sounds ridiculous.

Attitude Shift 5: Harnessing the Power of Love
Reason: to see the best in one another

Wish People Well. Do this silently from your heart when you are
standing in lines, driving, or passing people as you walk. Give this
gift to everyone you see. Notice how you feel when you do this.
Begin each day being grateful for at least three things. Before you
go to bed, tell all your family members how thankful you are for
their presence in your life. Notice what this does for your energy
level.

This is where the idea of attributing the best possible intentions
to a child was covered. I think I do pretty well with this one.

Attitude Shift 6: Harnessing the power of Acceptance
Reason: this moment is as it is

This was a big one. She talked about not making blanket statements
like "we don't hit in this house" after someone has just hit. You
deny the present by making such statements. Accept what is, AS IT IS!
Make choices based on what IS.

I often fall back on how things "should" be. I was raised in a very
punishment/reward centered home and learned that if I did A, then
B "should" happen. I have found myself dissapointed a great deal
when what I expected and wanted didn't happen. I am working on
accepting things as they are.

"Practice being peaceful in the moment by noticing things and
describing what you see, without judgements. Notice the weather,
plants outdoors, shadows, smells and sounds."

"Add a ritual to your childs bedtime routine that involves saying
goodnight to her body parts. for example, Im going to say goodnight
to your ears (touch the ears) your chin, elbows....."

This has helped me be more present and focus on just enjoying my
kids and making up our own special time at night instead of focusing
on trying to get them to sleep as fast as possible. As a side
benefit, we are all happier and they do fall asleep more easily. (I
am sure they felt my fatigue and desire for them to sleep before and
I was probably noticibly "going through the motions" My kids are 2
and 3 1/2, so I do help them wind down at night (when they are ready)

Attitude Shift 7: Harnessing the Power of Attention
Reason: Conflict offers an opportunity to teach

Whenever conflict arises, breathe deeply and remind
yourself "conflict is an opportunity to teach and learn"

Focus on Responding to conflict rather than trying to eliminate it.
THIS is probably the most important thing I could have read!
My kids are only 18 months apart and we have conflicts fairly
regularly. I was raised in a family where my main objective was to
avoid conflict at all cost. It is a scary place for me to be
emotionally and I was trying to get my kids to "just get along" and
not seeing the benefit to all of us in their inherent struggles.
Now I am working on handling my emotions and helping them find ways
to get what they want. They seem to be better at it than me :)

I know this was a super long post, but I though maybe more info.
would help show WHAT, in particular, I liked about the book. I am
still early in this unschooling journey and most of my time is spent
becoming a better person for myself and hopfully making some of
these ideas second nature for my kids.

If these ideas are all obvious to you, be GLAD!
I have been changing a great deal since reading this book because it
just wasn't obvious to me.

Kiersten

Su Penn

On Aug 5, 2005, at 3:18 PM, [email protected] wrote:

>
> In a message dated 8/5/05 12:42:15 PM, [email protected] writes:
>
>
> > Solutions like you mention, such as, "Can we find another one for
> > you?" or "Would you like me to help you find something else to play
> > with while you wait for him to be done with that?" are very common
> at
> > our house, too.
> >
>
> Picky me, I'd like to separate myself from the second example.   Way
> too many
> words.

Consider yourself separated. :-)

Maybe my 4yo has a long attention span --22 words doesn't seem like a
"speech" to us at all. But it is true that sometimes it works best to
do something like what you also describe--a one-word intervention like
"wait," after which it is possible to have a conversation, if
necessary. You're right that "Would you like me to help you find
something else to play with" is not usually the appropriate
attention-getter! What you also describe, of a kid being able to take
the next steps independently after "wait" is also true to our
experience.

My partner and I make a conscious effort not to repeat messages beyond
their useful life. We also don't lecture in the sense of articulating
the moral of the story (like, say, "Now, see, if you had worn your coat
you wouldn't be cold now," or "if you hadn't started blowing bubbles
when the glass was still full, there wouldn't be a big mess now. Next
time, wait until you've drunk some of the milk."). But that's not on
the immediate topic.

I like the idea that moms should think of saying "NO" as though the
child
> comes with 200 tickets at birth.   Some moms use them all up the
> first year and
> the child ignores "no" forever after.  

I like this too! I've been experimenting (for purposes of my own) with
having no-free days. Fun! And requires creativity!

Somebody should actually hand out the tickets before moms leave the
hospital. Would be much more useful than the diaper bags packed with
formula samples they give out now.


> -=-I simply meant to say that Bailey's philosophy of
> attributing a positive motivation to behavior has been a fruitful idea
> for us.-=-
>
> Can you give us examples of that in your own real life, from your own
> experience?

Um, let me think a minute.

OK, here's one thing that we sailed through but that seems to give some
other moms we know fits: kids reaching the stage, around the age of
2-3, where they ask for a certain food and then change their mind and
then change their mind again and then change their mind again until the
mom is about to tear her hair out. I figured that at that age, my son
was working on a pretty complicated developmental task: trying to learn
how to know what food he had a taste for before he had seen or tasted
it (I did not, as others sometimes seem to, think he was working on the
task of figuring out how far he could push his mother or how much he
could "get away with."). That seems like a big, complicated task to me,
and one that even grown-ups don't always get right, as anyone who has
ever looked at their plate in a restaurant and said, "I shoulda ordered
the salmon" can attest.

Looking at it that way helped me to avoid getting angry with him, or
trying to make it into a "discipline" issue ("I cooked you that egg
because you asked for it and you are by golly going to eat it!"). I did
think about how much I was willing to do without resentment, and in
general that was limited to cooking one thing, with additional choices
not requiring cooking. That was also about the time we invented the
"sampler plate," where, if he couldn't make up his mind, I would just
put two bites of everything I could think of onto a plate for him to
look at and taste. This really helped him--he would either just eat the
sampler plate, or after having it to look at and maybe taste, know
which things he wanted more of. Eventually, that stage passed as he got
better at anticipating what food would taste good to him, but he
sometimes still asks for a sampler plate just for fun.

Eric was also able to find his own positive motivation recently, and
describe it to me. He was taking a music class that he loved. The
guidelines for behavior at the class were that kids were not required
to participate in any activity, and they weren't prevented from doing
something else, but they weren't to do things that interfered with
other people being able to attend to the leader, or participate. My son
was wild in this class! He could not stay still; he could not confine
himself to a walk; he would actively try to recruit other kids for
rough games unrelated to the class activities. When we talked about
this, he told me that this behavior was because he loved the class so
much and was so excited to be there that he just had to express it
physically ("I'm so happy that my body just wants to get up and jump
around!"). He wasn't "misbehaving" or "being bad" and the answer wasn't
to try to force him to sit still or move quietly in music class. He was
able to articulate the positive motivation behind his behavior.

We still haven't solved this problem; he wants to take the class again
this fall, but he is pretty sure he will still want to jump around when
he is there. But we haven't had conflict about it, which is perhaps why
he can tell me honestly that he thinks his behavior will continue to
violate the class guidelines.

Thinking about the positive motivation behind a behavior, or thinking
about the development task our son might be working on, helps us not
fall into adversarial thinking with regard to him. If he's working on
learning something, of course we want to help him learn it. If he has a
need or a desire, of course we want that to get met.

This works for grown-ups, too. If I'm getting cranky with the kids or
my partner, or letting the housework sink below my usual low standards,
it's not because I'm "bad." It's a sign that I have an unmet
need--usually for a good stretch of quiet alone time. I might be trying
to meet my need for quiet time during the times I would otherwise be
beating back the forces of chaos and dog hair; that doesn't work from a
house-cleanliness perspective and neither is it very quality quiet
time. So I need to find a better way to meet that need, usually with my
partner's help. If he and I can remember that cranky behavior means
some other un-met need, we can respond to each other more lovingly
instead of escalating.

I wasn't intending to push anyone to read Beckey Bailey; someone else
mentioned her and I just wanted to second that we had found her useful
as well, despite the book's terrible title. But I now officially
declare that I have nothing left to say about Beckey Bailey (smile).

Su

[email protected]

In a message dated 8/5/05 1:56:30 PM, [email protected] writes:


> Okay, Sandra〓s consistent message about this is slowly wearing me down from
> my original position (you don〓t want to hear it!!) Although, Sandra, I do
> think you maybe need to use fewer words in your posts on this topic as I
> skimmed about the last 3/4 of it !! JK
>

"Need"?
Hey, I'm writing for a list with a lot of members, and maybe some have a
longer attention span or the topic's newer of more interest to them, and it will
be read later in the archives, and even if nobody ever reads it, it doesn't
hurt me or my kids.

Skim or read or skip; no problem.

Sandra


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

[email protected]

In a message dated 8/5/05 1:56:30 PM, [email protected] writes:


>
> Okay, Sandra〓s consistent message about this is slowly wearing me down from
> my original position (you don〓t want to hear it!!) Although, Sandra, I do
> think you maybe need to use fewer words in your posts on this topic as I
> skimmed about the last 3/4 of it !! JK
>
>

Sorry... forgot to make another point.

If a kid is minding his own business messing with toys and gets a long
speech, I don't think it's quite the same as if the same kid grows up and signs onto
a list called [Anything]DISCUSSION. <g>

Sandra


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

marie101365

--- In [email protected], [email protected] wrote:
>
> Can you give us examples of that in your own real life, from your own
> experience? I think that would have more life and breath on this list than
> recommending a book that isn't coming from an unschooling place.

I was thinking about this as I was doing dishes just now, and I just want to say this
comment strikes me as unnecessarily judgmental and blaming, given that the original post
that started this thread (not my post, someone else's) wasn't asking for personal
experience; it was asking for thoughts about books.

And since Sandra herself recently posted in favor of reading things you don't necessarily
completely agree with, I can't apologize either for suggesting that a book that doesn't
come from a purely unschooling perspective nonetheless contains some ideas that some
people might find useful. As always, YMMV.

Su

arcarpenter2003

--- In [email protected], [email protected] wrote:
==If the parent can come to think before acting, so can the child.
> "Wait. That's Holly's. Do you want another one?"
> That neither praises the child for acting rashly nor condemns him.
It's the
> way you might deal with a person who isn't also a child.
>
> The examples given up above sound to me very condescending, and I
can't help
> but hear them in the poodle voice or in the droning on,
kid-ignoring-mom tone
> I've heard from so many moms in parenting groups when they're really
trying to
> find a new way but they've gone from physical restraint to just
discussion
> above the child's level of comprehension, or word count far beyond
the child's
> attention span. It's as though their speech is really intended for
the other
> moms or the author of a book who's not even there.
==

Sandra, do you have an essay about this? Because it's something you
come back to a lot, and I think it is a good counterpoint to many
parenting books. So if you had an essay, and then you put the essay
in *your* book ;), then some helpful additional information would be
out there, next to the "poodle voice books." Y'know?

Peace,
Amy

[email protected]

In a message dated 8/5/05 4:00:40 PM, [email protected] writes:


>
> I was thinking about this as I was doing dishes just now, and I just want to
> say this
> comment strikes me as unnecessarily judgmental and blaming, given that the
> original post
> that started this thread (not my post, someone else's) wasn't asking for
> personal
> experience; it was asking for thoughts about books.
>

Maybe so, but still if someone recommends a book as something NOT to do, we
discuss that (why it's good to know but bad to follow). So if someone
recommends a book as what TO do, that's legitimate discussion fodder too.

For the purposes of this list, thoughts about books must lead to thoughts
about unschooling and how the book is or isn't useful to unschoolers.

Personal success will help more than hypothetical rephrasings of what the
book recommended.

Sandra


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

AlysonRR

Kiersten -

I haven't read the entire thread, but I wanted to let you know that I
had the same response to the Bailey book - "wow, this is much better
than what I'm doing - I can change and things will be better". It
really helped me shift into a different mindset regarding parenting, as
well as learn skills I didn't have from my parents. It helped me
realize that many of my frustrations with raising children were due to
my own attitudes and initiated changes that ultimately led me to the
type of unschooling people on this list describe. Without it, I might
still have been an unschooler, but I might not have gotten past the
actively and passively coercive parenting mentality as quickly. I
haven't read it since becoming more unschool-y in my thinking, so I'm
not sure if it would totally align with my current thinking and I don't
know if I would currently recommend it (need to re-read it), but the
book really affected me positively.

Alyson



I agree that a great deal of the material (as well as the title) is
not ideal for unschooling. ...
I guess I should list more specifics about why I DID like the book.
Some of these ideas may sound obvious to you, but it came as a shock
to me to hear things spelled out so simply. The family environment I
was raised in did nothing to help me learn these skills......
If these ideas are all obvious to you, be GLAD!
I have been changing a great deal since reading this book because it
just wasn't obvious to me.

Kiersten

_____



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

Jen A

AlysonRR wrote:

> Kiersten -
>
> I haven't read the entire thread, but I wanted to let you know that I
> had the same response to the Bailey book - "wow, this is much better
> than what I'm doing - I can change and things will be better". It
> really helped me shift into a different mindset regarding parenting, as
> well as learn skills I didn't have from my parents.

I have to agree with Kiersten and Alyson. I read this book when my son
was 3.5 and my daughter was a newborn, so it was before I had started to
read heavily at the unschooling sites/groups. I had also read some
other "positive discipline" books but I found the Bailey book to be the
best and most eye-opening. It helped me just as much with my
relationships with adults as it did with my kids. Especially the part
about accepting things as how they are and "what you focus on you get
more of." I consider it to have been a good building block (along with
NVC) for the construction of our unschooling life.

Since then I have found that I get most everything I need in terms of
parenting philosophy from radical unschooling and I really don't think
in terms of discipline any more. Still, I heartily recommend the book
to other young parents who may not now or ever have an interest in
unschooling. It's far better than some of the other stuff they could be
reading.

Jenny