[email protected]

> From: diana jenner <hahamommy@...>
> Date: 2005/11/29 Tue PM 03:59:59 EST
> To: [email protected]
> Subject: Re: [UnschoolingDiscussion] Re: What is natural consequence and what
> is not?
> kevin-tucker@... wrote:
> >We've recently moved to a new area, and we don't really know anyone well. However, our daughter has made friends with several of the local girls, which is good. However, she tends to go into their houses, garages, porches, etc., which we don't feel is very safe. To her, it seems like a natural thing to do, but I'm worried about potential abuse situations, etc.
> >
> How old is your dd? Different ages will bring different advice :)

She's 6.75.

> Even at a very young age, I talked with my kids about trusting their
> gut, that little tingle or voice that warns of "something hinky" in the
> environment, and to remove themselves and come back to me. Hannah (9,
> now) has done it a couple of times, just returned from friends' homes
> because it "didn't feel right" -- no specific behaviors or
> conversations, just that inkling and she left (even as young as 6).
> Hayden (7, now) has called and requested I pick him up from my parents'
> home for the same reason, nothing overt, just general "not feeling
> good"-ness going on. I respond, support and I'm open to talking about
> it... mostly they're glad to know they can trust me to trust their
> instincts.
> I don't think there's anything wrong with requesting that you know where
> she is and to be alerted to her entering someone's home, nor is it
> improper for you to meet these people and gage your own reaction to them.
> >The "natural consequence" would be irreversible, and so, we've been implementing unnatural consequences (grounding), which feels wrong to me, but I can't think of anything better. We've been discussing the dangers of going into houses, etc. but she doesn't want to believe it. Does anyone have any ideas on alternative methods of addressing this situation?
> >
> >
> I'm thinking that the unintended lesson being taught here is "I can't
> tell my parents or they'll punish me" instead of giving her a life skill
> to add to her tool box for life. Someday (already here!) she will need
> to trust herself, to be able to judge for herself which situations are
> unsafe and she *doesn't* need an "I-told-you-so" parent waiting for her
> at home. If she has a great time, she should be able to share that with
> you and know you're happy for her joy; if she has something traumatic
> happen, she should be able to share that with you knowing you'll be
> supportive and loving to her; if it's just another day in the life, she
> wants to know you're okay with that, too.

I think that is the lesson being learned as well, and I've seen signs of that already, and I want to stop passing on that lesson.

> It's really *NOT* dangerous to go into someone's home, porch or garage
> -- you're lying and she knows it. It's far more dangerous for her not
> to trust herself and even MORE dangerous that you've played an
> adversarial role in her life. Stop fear mongering now and be on her team.

She actually does a good job of removing herself from odd situations. Just last night, we talking to one of the neighbors, and one of them was smoking, and she started making moves to get away, whispering to me "I'm trying to get away from the smoke!"

Thanks for responding!

> :) diana