[email protected]

In a message dated 8/26/2005 1:26:56 AM Eastern Standard Time,
[email protected] writes:


I disagree. That's not to say I think it is the idea., but there needs to
be a balance.
Some parents make no sacrifices at all. They (parents) resent any
inconvenience their children cause them.

If the only two options were zero sacrifice and total sacrifice, total
sacrifice would be better for the children. Those are not at all the
only two
options.

-=-I think forgetting the sacrifice and embracing the relationship would be
the
way to go.-=-

Yes, but not if it's *rejecting* any sacrifice.

What if Julian had really, truly not wanted you to do that conference and
every moment of work or discussion on it wounded him and your relationship?


Sandra



********************************
Semantics, and clearly we have different ideas about what "sacrifice" means.

Being in a relationship, especially a healthy relationship, means there is
give and take on both sides, not necessarily equal, and different people in the
relationship may have different needs at the different times. For example,
a young child has dramatically different needs than a teenager or an adult. Or
a family member struggling with a work situation or a health problem will
have different needs.

Certainly there are parents who resent any inconvenience their children may
cause them. But my perspective is that for parents who are NOT like that,
meeting their children's needs is not about sacrifice. It's love, and a happy
thing.

People here have talked about changing their perspectives on housework,
thinking about it in terms of caring for their families with love. Would they
consider that sacrifice? No....that's the whole point.

I think that sacrifice is an attitude, rather than an action. You may have a
different perspective.

I find the question about Julian perplexing though. It's so hypothetical,
and so unrealistic. Of course, being in right relations with my family, I
talked about the possibility of doing a conference with them first, and both were
enthusiastic. So, first, doing a conference that they had issues with
wouldn't have brought me joy, and wouldn't have been a sacrifice to let go of.
Particularly since it was an unschooling conference -- it's as much about Julian
and Beth as it is about me.

Second, I cannot imagine a situation in which something non-abusive I was
doing would create a situation in which "every moment of work or discussion on
it wounded him and your relationship." If that were the case, I think there'd
be bigger issues with both him and our relationship than planning a
conference.

I don't think it's helpful to focus here on extremes of "inconvenienced"
parents or truly unrealistic situations. People reading here, whether or not
they ultimately embrace unschooling, or however far they apply it, are not
likely to be those people. And the unrealistic situations are a little confusing
and are more about intellectual repartee than about real life unschooling.

Kathryn


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

[email protected]

In a message dated 8/26/05 6:41:27 AM, [email protected] writes:


>
> I don't think it's helpful to focus here on extremes of "inconvenienced" 
> parents or truly unrealistic situations.
>

Blanket statements about sacrifice being wrong tend to lead toward
selfishness on the part of the parent.

Whether new unschoolers are extreme is unlikely. Whether they are easily
confused is just about guaranteed. We're asking people to come into water they
never knew existed.

If someone believes that a mom should have several hours to herself each day,
she will need to sacrifice (give up) that idea. If she thinks kids should
take care of themselves and she doesn't have to do a thousand things for them,
she will need to sacrifice that notion.

Only by giving up some fond fantasies does the generous giving phase come.
For someone to do housework willingly and openly, she has to lose the fantasy
of assigning chores and others happily doing her bidding.

For many, *that* is the great sacrifice.

Thinking "I wanted to be a person, but I threw it all by the wayside to exist
as life support for you and now you didn't do what I dreamed you would
do"--that's more than sacrifice. That's a mire of codependency. First, to get to
the kinds of relationships being advocated here, a mom needs to let go of
many things, two of which are the image of the person she wanted to be separate
from her children, as though she didn't have children at all, and then get rid
of the vision of her children as ideal mother-worshipping accessories.

For some that is a sacrifice.

Sandra


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Danielle Conger

[email protected] wrote:

> Blanket statements about sacrifice being wrong tend to lead toward
> selfishness on the part of the parent.

My mother is so afraid someone might "take advantage" of her that she
refuses to help anyone. This fear results in an extreme lack of
generosity. This is her view of the world that includes strangers,
community members and family. She constantly talks about how her
brother's children take advantage of their generosity; she's very quick
to point out where friends are taking advantage or strangers within the
larger social structure. She looks at the world and sees people lurking
around every corner who may require her to think outside of herself and
make some kind of sacrifice, and this is the new, improved non-drinking
version of my mother. It was much, much worse when she was drinking and
had a child making demands upon her.

A gracious and generous "sacrifice" for someone else is a good thing in
my mind. It makes the world go round more pleasantly and creates an
economy of care that combats some of the selfishness inherent in the
individual, pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps mentality of capitalism.

Perhaps the word sacrifice can be replaced by the notion of shifting
one's perspective to see the world from another's (one's child's, for
instance) point of view that enables a more generous, less resentful
form of "sacrifice" to occur--empathy driven sacrifice. But, the
much-maligned notion of sacrifice as a bad thing is a remnant of the
Victorian version of the all sacrificing Angel of the House, a reactive
remnant of first-wave feminism, as I see it anyway. The usefulness of
its critique was short-lived and the unseen ramifications far-reaching, imo.

> Whether they are easily confused is just about guaranteed. We're
> asking people to come into water they
> never knew existed.

Yes.

>
> If someone believes that a mom should have several hours to herself
> each day,
> she will need to sacrifice (give up) that idea. If she thinks kids
> should
> take care of themselves and she doesn't have to do a thousand things
> for them,
> she will need to sacrifice that notion.
>
> Only by giving up some fond fantasies does the generous giving phase
> come.
> For someone to do housework willingly and openly, she has to lose the
> fantasy
> of assigning chores and others happily doing her bidding.
>
> For many, *that* is the great sacrifice.
>
> Thinking "I wanted to be a person, but I threw it all by the wayside
> to exist
> as life support for you and now you didn't do what I dreamed you would
> do"--that's more than sacrifice. That's a mire of codependency.
> First, to get to
> the kinds of relationships being advocated here, a mom needs to let go of
> many things, two of which are the image of the person she wanted to be
> separate
> from her children, as though she didn't have children at all, and then
> get rid
> of the vision of her children as ideal mother-worshipping accessories.
>
> For some that is a sacrifice.

Yes.

--
~~Danielle
Emily (8), Julia (6), Sam (5)
http://www.danielleconger.com/Homeschool/Welcomehome.html

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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

[email protected]

> -=-A gracious and generous "sacrifice" for someone else is a good thing in
> my mind. It makes the world go round more pleasantly and creates an
> economy of care that combats some of the selfishness inherent in the
> individual, pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps mentality of
> capitalism.-=-
>

I agree that it's our culture (Americans anyway, maybe not the rest of the
English speaking world) one of the underlying messages is that if you needed
help you're a wimp and if you support someone else too generously you're a
dupe.

And I KNOW that the women's movement, while doing a lot of good in the
workplace and universities and social awareness and laws, did a *HUGE* amount of
harm to children and families and women who thought they could just jump straight
into that selfish-non-sacrificing traditional (but rarely achieved) male
ideal role.

They thought day care would be as good as direct mothering. They thought
having a career would solve their problems and the problems of all around them.

Yes, things were bad in the 50s for a lot of women.
Rejecting all things 50's, and all men and all children, doesn't seem to have
been an intelligent or helpful solution to that.

So now we need to figure out which parts of any of the past 50 years' ideas
to keep and which not to keep. But more than picking and choosing principles
to live by (and part of that, ideally) is to really understand why and how
such decisions are made.

Doing something because everyone else does is easy and you can sustain a life
on it, but it's not a mindful place to be. Doing something because a small
inspiring subgroup said to do it can be exhilarating, but if you don't truly
understand why, your "belief" will only last as long as their pep rally lasts.

Another sacrifice to make, for unschooling to work well, is the ease of just
borrowing a philosophy as a part of temporary friendships. It has to be deep
and individual. You might have to sacrifice some of what you lifted from
the Women's Movement AND some of what you inherited from your family if you want
to have a relationship with your children that's bigger and better than their
visions were.

Sandra





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Betsy Hill

** A gracious and generous "sacrifice" for someone else is a good thing in
my mind. It makes the world go round more pleasantly and creates an
economy of care that combats some of the selfishness inherent in the
individual, pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps mentality of
capitalism.**

Yes.

I like the way you describd out culture and economy. There's a kind of
callous bottom-line thinking in our culture that seems to think
generosity is foolish and sentimental, and "not worth it" in some
numerical sense. This goes counter to older religious ideas about the
importance of selflessness, so we are in the crosswinds of some
conflicting cultural pushes.

I think either generosity or selfishness can create some kind of cycle
that reinforces itself.

Betsy

[email protected]

In a message dated 8/26/05 9:47:14 AM, [email protected] writes:


> -=-There's a kind of
> callous bottom-line thinking in our culture that seems to think
> generosity is foolish and sentimental, and "not worth it" in some
> numerical sense. -=-
>

You said it better than I did. Good. Thanks.

-=-This goes counter to older religious ideas about the
importance of selflessness, so we are in the crosswinds of some
conflicting cultural pushes.-=-

Absolutely.

-=-I think either generosity or selfishness can create some kind of cycle
that reinforces itself.-=-

So can balance! Don't go for the extremes, go for the balance.

Sandra


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