Danielle Conger

AM Brown wrote:

> Danielle Conger wrote:>>>Ooooh, so it's a word choice issue (I just
> went through this with
> privilege vs. right). I'm interested in exploring that.<<<
> I thought I saw it as a word choice issue, but since the dictionary
> does not I'll try another approach:) SO I guess then the difference
> for me is in application. It doesn't fit with my parenting philosophy
> if a judgment is handed down and compliance is expected. I also see
> that as having the potential to cut off the flow of discussion. It
> stops us from getting at the need because the focus turns to the 'bad'
> behavior. This may be different for me because Afton is so quick to
> be hard on herself. Her internal judgments are harsh and quick, so I
> certainly don't need to be adding to that. I try to get her to look
> beyond what she did to 'why' and how she thinks she could have handled
> it differently. It isn't important how I think she should handle it,
> but instead what she would like to do differently. I can provide my
> opinion but ultimately it is up to her.
> I guess I'm interpreting what you are doing as handing down edicts -
> "a proclamation issued by an authority figure". Keep in mind, this
> may not be what you are doing at all :) it's just how I'm reading it.
> So in that scenario it's the authority figure that I don't like, that
> somehow the authority figure's opinion/judgment is more important or
> even the final word. It supercedes the individual's judgment of a
> situation. I also believe it ceases to become just information when
> there are consequences attached or expectation of compliance to the
> opinion or principle.

Okay, so for me, I wouldn't say there are consequences for not following
the proclamation issued by an authority--no authority and no
consequences, at least not consequences with which I am uncomfortable
with in Unschooling terms. So, we're back to privilege/ right, which I
brought up, so...

If the judgment is "hitting hurts" then the consequence will be no
proximity with the object of one's aggression--either because one of the
two parties have removed or I am between them. Technically, that can be
considered an externally imposed consequence. I don't see it as a
consequence in punitive terms; I see it as protection.

I think, for me, it boils down to better and worse choices that are
situationally- and principle-based. A better choice is one that is more
Considerate/ Respectful/ Safe, etc.; a worse choice is less Considerate/
Respectful/ Safe, etc. I would like my children to have the tools of
discernment that allow them to choose better and worse choices. I think
I can gently help them develop those tools by genuinely sharing my use
of such tools.

Better and worse, for me, allow for a continuum--lots of gray shades
rather than a black/white dichotomy. So, for instance, I would be more
comfortable and likely to ask "Can we come up with a better choice?"
than I would be to label something as a "bad" choice. For me, there are
very few things in life that I see as black and white, as truly good or
truly bad. And nothing I see as absolutes for all times and all places
and all people.

But, I do believe in moral conviction. I hold the moral conviction that
killing is bad. I believe it strongly, deep down in my being. That's not
to say that I can't think of situations where circumstances may justify
making a morally bad choice in order to prevent a worse outcome. For me,
however, that's a *very* heavy choice to make. Although I believe in a
moral conviction such as "killing is bad," that doesn't mean that I
judge a person who kills as a bad person. I don't. I don't believe one
transfers to the other. There's a middle term of blame that is missing
from that logical syllogism. For that to transfer, I would have to
accept the premise that all people who engage in an act I deem as bad
are bad people, and I do not accept that premise. Compassion,
understanding and love prevent that middle term from having purchase in
my heart or mind. I believe there can be opinion, judgment and
discernment without blame.

Emily (8), Julia (6), Sam (5)


"With our thoughts, we make the world." ~~Buddha