[email protected]

In a message dated 6/4/03 10:43:25 PM, [email protected] writes:

<< If you dole it out bits at a time, it's not so good for you.
> If you let the child decide how much she wants or needs (of candy,
> attention,
> time, praise) you will probably find they choose a much smaller
> amount than
> dire predictions would have named.
>
> You are obviously a woman who is deeply concerned about children, and I
respect that; however, my half a century's experience on this marvelous
planet tells me otherwise on this point. >>

I have half a century's experience too, or will have when I turn 50 in July.

I have eleven years' intense involvement in unschooling.

The mainstream advice is totally familiar to me. Engrained.

Then I have years of questioning it. And on the subject of kids deciding on
their own what to eat, rather than having someone else "dole it out" to them
I have nearly seventeen years successful experience at that, with three
children now, added to three children of whom I had custody earlier in life (and did
NOT know what I know now about freedom of choice), and my own history, and
the histories of the hundreds of people who are likewise involved in alternative
family lives and successfully finding that giving freedom creates good
judgment, while withholding freedom creates problems.

Christina, it's likely you've not known families in which children can eat
what and when they want, where the children have never once been made to "clean
their plates." It's rare, and the traditional methods of feeding children
make it seem crazy, but it's not. I came to those ideas before any
homeschooling, because of attachment parenting, La Leche League, and an article in
Mothering Magazine that said offering children all kinds of food resulted in them
eating a balanced diet without it being measured and prescribed for them.

This morning I delivered a fourteen year old boy to an all day activity.
They have to bring a lunch. It can't have candy or soda. He wasn't feeling very
well.

We have lots of food in the house, and what he chose and I fixed up for him
was a sandwich of leftover beef/barbecue sauce, an apple, and some cranberry
juice. He turned down chips, pie and other fruit.

When he got home yesterday he had a milk shake, which I offered to make him
and he happily accepted. We have candy and soda, but he didn't want any. He
has three pieces of chocolate he got Tuesday (looks like little rolls of film,
imported chocolate in foil). He has eaten one.

If candy were doled out, he would want his dole. It's freely available, and
he can leave it alone.

Sandra

Christina M Ledford

Sandra,
I did not write the statement below. I wrote the one following it :"You
are obviously..." The statement I did write about doling out candy was
metaphorical. I'm in enough trouble here it seems without having
statements I never made attributed to me!

Thank you,

Christina
On Thu, 5 Jun 2003 10:46:53 EDT [email protected] writes:
>
> In a message dated 6/4/03 10:43:25 PM, [email protected]
> writes:
>
> << If you dole it out bits at a time, it's not so good for you.
> > If you let the child decide how much she wants or needs (of candy,
>
> > attention,
> > time, praise) you will probably find they choose a much smaller
> > amount than
> > dire predictions would have named.
> >
> > You are obviously a woman who is deeply concerned about children,
> and I
> respect that; however, my half a century's experience on this
> marvelous
> planet tells me otherwise on this point. >>


.
>
> Sandra
>
>
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Christina M Ledford

On Thu, 5 Jun 2003 10:46:53 EDT [email protected] writes:

.
>
> Christina, it's likely you've not known families in which children
> can eat
> what and when they want, where the children have never once been
> made to "clean
> their plates." It's rare, and the traditional methods of feeding
> children
> make it seem crazy, but it's not. > > resulted in them

>
> Sandra
>
> Ahh! But I have known families in which children can eat what and when
they want, etc. I was raised in one -- long, long before homeschooling
in its current form leaped upon the scene. I never once asked my kids to
"clean their plates." I also never used food as a reward/punishment.
These behaviors lead to obesity, among other things. I read somewhere
long ago that children, if given the choice, will ultimately eat what's
nutritious and healthy for them. I made the mistake when my girls were
younger of forbidding candy (except on special occasions). I guess you
know what happened with that. So, when my son came along many years
later, I decided to switch my tactics and not restrict candy and various
treats. But, guess what? My son would subsist on sweets if I didn't
occasionally intervene and tell him that he's free to graze on "junk
food" after he eats nutritious foods (fruits, veggies, etc.). What do
you suggest I do here?

Thank you,
Christina
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>
>
>
>

[email protected]

In a message dated 6/5/2003 11:50:49 AM Eastern Standard Time,
[email protected] writes:

> >Ahh! But I have known families in which children can eat what and when
> they want, etc. I was raised in one -- long, long before homeschooling
> in its current form leaped upon the scene. I never once asked my kids to
> "clean their plates." I also never used food as a reward/punishment.
> These behaviors lead to obesity, among other things. I read somewhere
> long ago that children, if given the choice, will ultimately eat what's
> nutritious and healthy for them. I made the mistake when my girls were
> younger of forbidding candy (except on special occasions). I guess you
> know what happened with that. So, when my son came along many years
> later, I decided to switch my tactics and not restrict candy and various
> treats. But, guess what? My son would subsist on sweets if I didn't
> occasionally intervene and tell him that he's free to graze on "junk
> food" after he eats nutritious foods (fruits, veggies, etc.). What do
> you suggest I do here?
>
> Thank you,
> Christina

I never have said anything to mine. I never said too much snacks is too
much. Just has never been an issue. This am, the baby dug out a tomatoes and the 3
yr. old grabbed a cucumber and cut it up and shared with the 11 yr. old and 1
yr. old. She also likes to dump uncooked Mac N cheese in a bowl and play
with it and eat some. Today she added shredded cheese. The 11 yr. old cooked a
box of Mac N. Cheese.

I often see them eating lunch things for breakfast cuz they get up now
between 9-10. Not an issue here. If they get hungry later they may have a bowl of
cereal.
I usually will cook the 1yr old a meal he may or may not eat it but knows he
can go over to the fridge and grap what he wants like
cheese,apples,orange,banana, Yogurt, pudding, tomatoes, cucumbers or cantaloupe whatever happens to be
in there that day. If he sees a snack on the counter he points to it, we get
it.
If we are in a store and they ask for a candy bar or something I buy it.
They may ask once a week or once a month. I have never made a stink about junk
food so its something they may or may not want-not a must have because they are
checking to see if I will say no.


Laura D


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

Mary

From: "Christina M Ledford" <[email protected]>

<<My son would subsist on sweets if I didn't
occasionally intervene and tell him that he's free to graze on "junk
food" after he eats nutritious foods (fruits, veggies, etc.). What do
you suggest I do here?>>


I'm wondering just how long he went subsisting on sweets before you did
intervene??

Mary B

Betsy

**The statement I did write about doling out candy was
metaphorical. I'm in enough trouble here it seems without having
statements I never made attributed to me!**

I thought it was a simile, suggesting that both praise and candy should
be doled out sparingly because too much sweetness is bad for kids. I
recognize that that last part is *my* inference about where you were
leading. Lots of people believe it. But not so many on this list.

Betsy

[email protected]

In a message dated 6/5/03 9:50:59 AM, [email protected] writes:

<< I made the mistake when my girls were
younger of forbidding candy (except on special occasions). I guess you
know what happened with that. So, when my son came along many years
later, I decided to switch my tactics and not restrict candy and various
treats. But, guess what? My son would subsist on sweets if I didn't
occasionally intervene and tell him that he's free to graze on "junk
food" after he eats nutritious foods (fruits, veggies, etc.). What do
you suggest I do here? >>

There was a really excellent discussion about this not long ago. I looked at
www.unschooling.com and didn't find it. Does anyone remember where and have a
link? Maybe it wasn't there, but on this list. If so, is there a good
starting message number anyone knows how to find?

Thanks.


Sandra

Christina M Ledford

On Thu, 5 Jun 2003 12:50:53 -0400 "Mary" <[email protected]> writes:
> From: "Christina M Ledford" <[email protected]>
>
> <<My son would subsist on sweets if
>
> >
> I'm wondering just how long he went subsisting on sweets before you
> did
> intervene??
>
> Mary B
>
You know what? I think you need to back off here. Re-read what I
wrote.
Christina
>
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Mary

From: "Christina M Ledford" <[email protected]>

<<So, when my son came along many years
later, I decided to switch my tactics and not restrict candy and various
treats. But, guess what? My son would subsist on sweets if I didn't
occasionally intervene and tell him that he's free to graze on "junk
food" after he eats nutritious foods (fruits, veggies, etc.). What do
you suggest I do here?>>


Well here it is and I read it slowly this time. My sincere original question
still stands. How long did he go with just eating sweets before you
intervened? Was it a few days, a week or a month?

Mary B

[email protected]

In a message dated 6/5/2003 3:55:55 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
[email protected] writes:

> >I'm wondering just how long he went subsisting on sweets before you
> >did
> >intervene??
> >
> >Mary B
> >
> You know what? I think you need to back off here. Re-read what I
> wrote.
>

You didn't indicate how much time passed before you started telling him to
eat other food before "junk."

Why should she back off? I wondered too. Probably everyone who read it
wondered the very same thing.

Sandra


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

Christina M Ledford

On Thu, 5 Jun 2003 18:03:59 -0400 "Mary" <[email protected]> writes:
> From: "Christina M Ledford" <[email protected]>
>
> <<So, when my son came along many years
> later, I decided to switch my tactics and not restrict candy and
> various
> treats. But, guess what? My son would subsist on sweets if I
> didn't
> occasionally intervene and tell him that he's free to graze on
> "junk
> food" after he eats nutritious foods (fruits, veggies, etc.). What
> do
> you suggest I do here?>>
>
>
> Well here it is and I read it slowly this time. My sincere original
> question
> still stands. How long did he go with just eating sweets before you
> intervened? Was it a few days, a week or a month?
>
> Mary B
>
> Mary, the operative word is "would" He doesn't. There is no "how long
did he go just." One of the benefits for me of being a vegetarian is
that I have lots of yummy, nutritious food on hand. He eats that. He
just has an incredible sweet tooth. Please drop it; I find such sarcasm
distasteful.
Christina
>
> ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
>
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> email the moderator, Joyce Fetteroll ([email protected]), or
> the list owner, Helen Hegener ([email protected]).
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>
>
>
>

Kelly Lenhart

>Please drop it; I find such sarcasm distasteful.
>Christina


I didn't hear any sarcasm. I heard an honest question. You are claiming
that you KNOW he would eat sweets all the time. But from what you say, you
haven't given him the chance to find out.

Mary and Sandra were trying to clarify if you had in fact ever tried and
found out. Now you have answered.

Perhaps if you'd been clearer at first they wouldn't have asked.

Kelly
(not quite believing she just posted this!)

Mary

From: "Christina M Ledford" <[email protected]>

<<Mary, the operative word is "would" He doesn't. There is no "how long
did he go just." One of the benefits for me of being a vegetarian is
that I have lots of yummy, nutritious food on hand. He eats that. He
just has an incredible sweet tooth. Please drop it; I find such sarcasm
distasteful.>>


Well I won't just drop it because there may be others here wondering about
the very same thing in their own homes. I wasn't at all being sarcastic. I
was sincerely asking you how long you watched him eat only sweets. Now you
say that you didn't. You say you know he would, but you can't possibly know
that unless you watched him eat only sweet things for a year. You are
assuming your child will make unhealthy choices for his life without really
knowing he will. That's a key point in a lot of what has been said here
recently. You're not getting it and that's fine. But no reason to get upset
and accuse me of being sarcastic when I wasn't while you do try to get it.
Again, if one doesn't question as to how to always do better, one won't know
there is a better.

Mary B

Fetteroll

on 6/5/03 7:04 PM, Christina M Ledford at [email protected] wrote:

> Mary, the operative word is "would" He doesn't. There is no "how long
> did he go just."

One of the greatest assets of this list is the clarity of thought.

Clear thinking can only come across through clear writing.

In casual and polite conversations we often look past the words people use
and guess at what they mean. That way people who aren't as talented at
putting thoughts into words can relax and participate too. People can throw
around words like "never" and "always" and other people can guess from the
context whether it's literally never or always or just a virtual never or
always.

But on this list being precise in wording *is* important. We aren't trading
opinions of what we believe to be true. We're discussing principles and
logic and real life examples of children raised in joy and freedom.

Your

> But, guess what? My son would subsist on sweets if I didn't
> occasionally intervene and tell him that he's free to graze on "junk
> food" after he eats nutritious foods (fruits, veggies, etc.). What do
> you suggest I do here?

is an example of an opinion expressed as a fact. You don't know that he
would subsist on sweets. And it's this type of statement that will be
brought up for examination here everytime.

This subject is discussed here regularly. There are many families here whose
children do have freedom to choose their own food. They don't subsist on
sweets. (My daughter still has Easter chocolate.)

In the "regular world" there are few families that have ever allowed their
children freedom to make their own choices. They guess (and would probably
say they know) that their children would make bad choices.

But in families where children have the support to make their own decisions,
they do in the long run choose wisely. There isn't a reason for a child to
only eat sweets if the sweets aren't forbidden. Some kids do have a sweet
tooth and will eat more sweets than a mother would choose for the child but
they do eat more nutritious food and balance out their diets.

Joyce

Tracy

And in regard to the below the thing that got me to think and
understand was when it was brought up that this {including
restrictions on television - personally my main hang-up was the so
called mindless cartoons- or anything else} was more about MY comfort
level and what *I* had been told and believed. And therefore I
believed such and such would happen, when in reality is was really
just a worked up fear.

I am and have always been a relaxed mom for the most part. Especially
comparing me with other mothers I know. And even if I don't agree
with a tiny portion of what it said, It still pushes me to THINK and
then THINK AGAIN. And thereby I am working on areas where I do
sometimes become more anal retentive then is necessary. And those
areas I do tend to be a bit more defensive about.

But like is always said sometimes it's better to just read along and
get a feel for the list and reactions {especially if you tend to have
a defensive nature} and take what you need, make a note and work on
those areas in your personal life if you DO find there is need for
improvement and work on it in your personal life.

Also change isn't something that happens overnight. So it's advisable
not to tell the kids,<example> "From now on you can eat anything you
want to. I won't say anything to you about it, anymore.". LOL
It's tends to be a much easier transition change a bit at a time. And
to do so just by doing not by saying you are going to do it.
Especially if there is a lot to change.{metaphorically speaking it's
like} Trying to a remodel your whole house in one week and expecting
not to get burned out and disgusted. It's easier and tends to be more
permanent I think when we have a clear understanding and work it out
with in ourselves and know why we are choosing to parent this way,
and do a bit of it at a time. And hopefully in the end we will be in
a more comfortable atmosphere for us and out kids. :-)


Tracy

--- In [email protected], Fetteroll <[email protected]>
wrote:
> But, guess what? My son would subsist on sweets if I didn't
> occasionally intervene and tell him that he's free to graze on "junk
> food" after he eats nutritious foods (fruits, veggies, etc.). What
do
> you suggest I do here?

is an example of an opinion expressed as a fact. You don't know that
he
would subsist on sweets. And it's this type of statement that will be
brought up for examination here everytime.

This subject is discussed here regularly. There are many families
here whose
children do have freedom to choose their own food. They don't subsist
on
sweets. (My daughter still has Easter chocolate.)

In the "regular world" there are few families that have ever allowed
their
children freedom to make their own choices. They guess (and would
probably
say they know) that their children would make bad choices.>>>

Tracy

And hopefully in the end we will be in
> a more comfortable atmosphere for us and out kids. :-)


Err not OUT the kids, LOL, for our kids.
Tracy

[email protected]

In a message dated 6/5/2003 5:07:38 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
[email protected] writes:

> >Mary, the operative word is "would" He doesn't. There is no "how long
> did he go just." One of the benefits for me of being a vegetarian is
> that I have lots of yummy, nutritious food on hand. He eats that. He
> just has an incredible sweet tooth. Please drop it; I find such sarcasm
> distasteful.
>

You said you tried it.
You wrote clearly as though you learned this from experience.

Dishonesty is MUCH more distasteful, and harmful, than sarcasm is and it
wastes the time of the readers.

<<But, guess what?  My son would subsist on sweets if I
> didn't
> occasionally intervene and tell him that he's free to graze on
> "junk
> food" after he eats nutritious foods (fruits, veggies, etc.). 

I wish I had saved every quote over the years which matched this.
Things like:
"My son would watch TV all day if I let him"
and
"I have a kid who would never turn the Nintendo off if I didn't make him"
and my favorite:

"My kid would never go to sleep if he didn't have a bedtime."

There have been dozens. And in every single case, if the mom honestly did
let go of restrictions (and VERY many have), they were proven wrong, and they
were glad of it, too. Across the board.

Are you interested? Or are you just posturing and making trouble?
If you don't want your posts discussed, just read awhile.
If you're not going to be honest, don't post.

Sandra


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

[email protected]

In a message dated 6/5/03 7:42:34 PM, [email protected] writes:

<< (My daughter still has Easter chocolate.) >>

Keith pulled an easter rabbit out of the cabinet the other day. I don't even
know which kid it belonged to, but it was put back in public pantryspace.
Kirby still has Halloween candy. <g>

More evidence: Marty (14) and I stopped at Furr's after his long day of
working out.
He could have anything he wanted. He didn't get salad. He didn't get jello.
He got potatoes, turkey and dressing, bypassed gravy (though he usually
loves it, he wasn't feeling really well and said the grease wouldn't be good); got
broccoli (and ate it), got bread, no butter (thought about butter but decided
against it). He didn't even look at the desserts. His tray was full. He
drank an IBC rootbeer and a glass of water. There's ice cream. He wouldn't
have gotten any even if he had been feeling great, I don't think. He rarely
chooses ice cream ever. He had first planned to share my fish, but he was too
full.

That's what comes of letting a kid eat what he wants. I neither praised nor
teased nor coached him about that stuff. I wouldn't have if he had gotten
jello and pie, either, because he can listen to his own body and doesn't just
eat for fun.

He came home, put his uniform in the wash, watched wrestling, and went to
sleep at 9:10.

This is a kid who honestly can do what he wants to do, and that's what he
wanted to do.

Sandra

Christina M Ledford

On Thu, 5 Jun 2003 23:12:50 EDT [email protected] writes:
> >>
> Are you interested? Or are you just posturing and making trouble?
> If you don't want your posts discussed, just read awhile.
> If you're not going to be honest, don't post.
>
> Sandra
>
> First of all, I'm nothing in this world if I'm not honest. So, here's
some honesty for you: Whal the hell is wrong with you, woman? If I
said, "Go jump in a lake" or "I thought I was going to die laughing",
etc., etc., would you be questioning how literal those statements were?
Don't you recognize an expression when you hear one? Don't you
understand that when people make statements such as, "My child would...if
I let him..." it's not meant to be taken so literally? It's only meant
to suggest that, as in my case, the child likes something above and
beyond what would seem usual. Come on, do you really think, as in your
example, the child would literally never, ever, ever turn off the
Nintendo game--? Eureka! We've discovered true perpetual motion in our
son's room!! Lighten up.

You know, I don't have to "sit in" for awhile to discover what this group
is all about. As one of my favorite professors used to say, "I only have
to smell perfume to know a woman's been in the room." I haven't made up
my mind yet about "unschooling", but I'll tell you, my brief experience
with this group has taught me volumes. You folks talk about preventing
your children from being exposed to rude people -- well, maybe you need
to reconsider your definition of rude. You need to walk the walk. From
what I've seen here, it sounds like you're raising your children in some
collective bubble, and if this is the direction unschooling is taking,
then the "experiment" is doomed to fail. Exposure to negative elements in
life can provide some immunity for children down the road, when they're
on their own -- much the same way that exposure to certain viruses, etc.,
provides defenses against further attack. How is a child to learn to
tolerate frustration if mommy and daddy never allow frustration in
his/her life? The ability to handle frustration is one of the gifts we
possess as humans, but it's a skill that needs to be honed, as with any
other skill. Delaying gratification is another very necessary "skill" we
need to teach. Allowing children -- who are not just little adults --
free rein over absolutely everything that affects their lives is doing
them a great disservice. It's hedonism gone berserk!!

You say you're giving your children "freedom" to choose their own paths,
but are you really? Isn't this whole "unschooling" concept just another
form of brainwashing, of manipulation?. Whatever happened to children
needing boundaries? How can anyone, in good conscience, allow children
to choose their own boundaries to the extent that you all seem to be
doing? You all just seem to be feeding off of each other with no clear
direction. It's some type of dysfunction disguised as good parenting.
Bullshit!! There are some things you just shouldn't mess with, one of
them being human nature. Children seek and need limitations in their
lives. They don't need to be wholly left to their own devices -- that's
why they are children and we are adults! And this whole thing about
letting the child choose what he/she is interested in. Okay, that's good
-- to a point. If I hadn't insisted when my kids were younger on their
participating in certain events, taking up certain activities, etc., they
never would have discovered their true interest in those activities.
This extreme position I'm seeing here, which you define as "unschooling"
is looking more and more like laziness to me. Let the kid play video
games all day, what the hell -- I'll just read this book I've wanted to
read, or watch my soaps, blah, blah. Give me a break! What you're doing
is inviting criticism and, ultimately, disgust. It's a form of covert
child abuse. You've got a cult thing going on here, and you're convinced
you're doing the right thing. I shudder to think of a future world
populated by unschooled automatons.

Don't bother to reply...I can't wait to click on UNSUBSCRIBE...


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>
>

jmcseals SEALS

<<What you're doing
is inviting criticism and, ultimately, disgust. It's a form of covert
child abuse. You've got a cult thing going on here, and you're convinced
you're doing the right thing. I shudder to think of a future world
populated by unschooled automatons.>>

Yeah Sandra, you lazy-ass berserk hedonist! ROFLMAO!!!!! Oh god, I'd love
to bitch slap THAT woman! I'd even quit biting my nails just to get a few
good claws in!

Jennifer...another automaton raising, child abusing, cult following lazy-ass
berserk hedonist ;)
<BIG WIIIIDE EVIL GRIN>

Forgive my literal sincerity! Mwahahahaha Hedonism gone berserk??? Boy,
that's a contradiction of terms!

I should thank her for a good hearty midnight laugh!

Jennifer...thoroughly enjoying this list...STILL! So much so I just signed
my name twice! LOL

_________________________________________________________________
Help STOP SPAM with the new MSN 8 and get 2 months FREE*
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Lisa M. Cottrell Bentley

> One of the benefits for me of being a vegetarian is
> that I have lots of yummy, nutritious food on hand.

Vegetarianism does not necessarily equal healthy and nutritious. I know
this firsthand since I am a vegetarian, too. However, my children are given
a full refrigerator and cupboards of food and they pick out lots of things
at the grocery store every time we go. They've never been coerced to eat
anything and they are the ones that have the healthiest diets in my family.
DH and I grew up with lots of food restrictions and we find comfort in the
foods that we snuck as children. I'm slowly "Undieting", but I can see that
it is going to take a long time to undo all the years of food teaching that
was done to me. Thankfully, my children will never have to do that.

Today, we had a picnic with another wonderful homeschooling family (I'm
finally starting to find some). My 2.5 yo daughter was given the option to
eat whatever she wanted. She chose 3-4 potato chips for an appetizer,
grapes for her main course, and a couple of apple slices for dessert, with
only water to quench her thirst. Her choice and she stopped eating the
second that she was full and she refused to eat anymore. It brought back
memories of not being allowed to have the chips until the "healthy" sandwich
was eaten, eating the sandwich and being full, but still downing as many
chips as I possibly could just so that I could finally have them (then I'd
eat the dessert, too, and I usually didn't even like it). I'll never force
my children to eat or not eat certain foods. They were naturally born with
the ability to figure out what to eat and when, I'm not going to teach that
out of them and I listen to their natural wisdom every day.

-Lisa in AZ

P.S. I just looked in the freezer and saw a pint of ice cream that my 6.75
yo picked out a few months ago going bad (DH has permission from her to eat
it now). It looked good to her at the time, but she claims that grapes just
taste better and satisfy her more. She knows her body. That is wisdom.

Lisa M. Cottrell Bentley

> First of all, I'm nothing in this world if I'm not honest.

Good for you. I'm an honest person, too. Sometimes I've seen that the
words that come out of my mouth initially are contradictory though even if
my thoughts and intentions haven't been. This is something that shouldn't
be and when I see it, it really makes me think. I'll always have room for
improvement.

> From
> what I've seen here, it sounds like you're raising your children in some
> collective bubble, and if this is the direction unschooling is taking,
> then the "experiment" is doomed to fail.

The children of the people here are living life in the true world that we
all live in, not a sheltered artificial school. Sadly, this world is full
of negative elements. We, unschooling parents, are here to help our
children deal with them as they experience them in real life situations, not
pretend situations.

> Delaying gratification is another very necessary "skill" we
> need to teach.

Every child that has wanted a toy or food that a parent couldn't provide
right that moment has learned that skill. My 2.5 yo has to wait for me to
finish going to the bathroom before I feed her sometimes. I certainly don't
create new unrealistic challenges for her when she's got real life
challenges right here to deal with and I am right here to help her deal with
them. My 6.75 yo has to wait for me to buy the things that she needs for
her experiments before she can do them (at least the time it takes to go to
the store and back, but often until we have the money for it). That sure
didn't have to be taught.

> Allowing children -- who are not just little adults --
> free rein over absolutely everything that affects their lives is doing
> them a great disservice.

Agreed and that is why unschoolers don't do this- ever. If you think that
you've read that people do that here, you might want to ask some specific
questions about what people mean. I don't mean to talk for everyone else,
but I keep reading that not a one of them thinks that a child is an adult,
but every one of them thinks that children are people. In the U.S.,
children are often treated like a lesser class of beings. In the
Unschooling environment, they are equals with individual needs.

> Isn't this whole "unschooling" concept just another
> form of brainwashing, of manipulation?.

I don't understand how and I'm really interested in hearing why you think
this might be the case. It is very important to me to never be brainwashed
on any topic. Do you think that it is possible to be brainwashed that
children need to be taught things in order to learn them? I used to be
brainwashed that way.

> Whatever happened to children
> needing boundaries? How can anyone, in good conscience, allow children
> to choose their own boundaries to the extent that you all seem to be
> doing?

For starters, you don't seem to quite get what the people here are doing.
After that, you should see that the human race has existed for quite a
while. We aren't born wanting to harm ourselves, why would a child
naturally want to and why wouldn't a parent protect that child from
unintentional harm? I'll physically protect any person that I see that is
close to harm. I do it all the time in all kinds of situations.

> Don't bother to reply...I can't wait to click on UNSUBSCRIBE...

If you have already unsubscribed, it is unfortunate. I hope that your
unconscious mind is still thinking about what has really been said here.
Perhaps this thread will help the facts of unschooling be explained for
other newcomers and help make the world a better place through them and for
them and their children.

-Lisa in AZ

Fetteroll

on 6/6/03 2:29 AM, Christina M Ledford at [email protected] wrote:

> Let the kid play video
> games all day, what the hell -- I'll just read this book I've wanted to
> read, or watch my soaps, blah, blah. Give me a break!

You've created an image that will be hard for us to replace by what really
happens in our lives. And because you've created such a repulsive image
you're not going to want to look closer at what we do which makes trying to
get you to see what really is going on even harder.

It takes 1000s of words to explain away a false impression. It may take 10s
of 1000s of words -- in fact it may never happen -- if someone is determined
to hold onto that false impression.

It takes far far fewer words if someone is open and willing to listen and
learn why and how others believe what they believe.

> Don't you
> understand that when people make statements such as, "My child would...if
> I let him..." it's not meant to be taken so literally?

Here on this list when discussing children's behavior we need to use literal
statements since we're talking about what does and doesn't work for kids
raised in freedom.

Most of the population only know what children raised under control are
like. They assume the negative behavior they see when they let go of control
is part of children's nature not a result of control.

A child who has TV, video games, food controlled will often glut on them
without control. It's natural to assume that behavior would continue unless
parents returned the controls. Most parents believe that to be true.

Which would mean that children who are not controlled would be eating
nothing but sweets and do nothing but watch TV or play video games.

That doesn't happen. if parents trust that children will choose what they
need, after a transition period, when children trust that something is truly
unlimited that they can access at any time, then they let go of the need to
hoard it.

Here we need to discuss honestly what does and doesn't happen with kids
because there is no body of "common knowledge" of what will happen with kids
who are raised in freedom.

But it isn't unexplored territory. There are people here who are living it
with happy, joyful children. There are grown unschoolers out in the world.
There are kids who are about to enter the world.

> You know, I don't have to "sit in" for awhile to discover what this group
> is all about.

It's probably true of any group that we can learn a lot more by assuming --
not accepting but assuming -- that the people in the group are being honest
and thoughtful. If they say something that strikes us wrong, we'll get
better information by asking questions to try to understand why they believe
something to be true than if we tell them we're right and they're wrong.

If we enter a group curious but determined to hold onto what we believe it's
likely we'll learn little. That protective wall we enter with to defend
ourselves and our ideas does a good job of screening out ideas that are
confusing or frightening or seemingly stupid.

But if we check our defensive walls at the door and enter as empty vessels
we're likely to learn a lot.

That doesn't mean we need to automatically believe what we hear but we can
try to understand how others believe it.

Hearing and trying to understand new ideas isn't like getting a tatoo. It
isn't permanent. If we spend a while trying to understand people and ideas
and the ideas don't feel right we can drop them like new clothes and put our
old ones back on.

> From
> what I've seen here, it sounds like you're raising your children in some
> collective bubble, and if this is the direction unschooling is taking,
> then the "experiment" is doomed to fail. Exposure to negative elements in
> life can provide some immunity for children down the road

It helps not to draw conclusions quickly when learning about anything new.
Once conclusions are drawn, we start unconsciously paying attention to only
the information that supports those conclusions and ignoring the information
that doesn't fit.

Unschooled children are out in life. They will naturally encounter rude
people. Their friends will not always behave nicely. Our children will not
always behave nicely. They *know* that life isn't like home. That's pretty
much a "duh!"

We don't need to make children remain in situations that are unpleasant to
expose them to negative elements. What people in general need is to feel
*empowered* They need to know they have a choice about the negative
elements. They don't have to put up with them. They can change something, or
walk away from it and find a better path, or decide the end result will be
worth the negative elements, or ...? But their only choice isn't to put up
with something.

By removing them or stepping in or talking about something or helping them
deal with a situation -- but this is too vague and real examples are *much*
more fruitful for discussing what we're talking about -- we're modeling for
them what they can do when faced with something they don't like.

> How is a child to learn to
> tolerate frustration if mommy and daddy never allow frustration in
> his/her life?

How can a child live life without frustration? Being a child *is*
frustration. Things are up too high. They can't go places without an adult.
Days are too long.

We don't need to frustrate them more than life naturally will. By removing
them from a situation or helping them in some way we're modeling that people
have the power to protect themselves from things they don't like.

> Allowing children -- who are not just little adults --
> free rein over absolutely everything that affects their lives is doing
> them a great disservice.

Then you've made assumptions about what we're talking about and it's going
to take 100 times as many words to try to get you to see what we're really
talking about. It will take a lot fewer words if you drop the assumptions.

Does it make sense that we'd be giving kids "free rein" as you're imagining
it? That we're all sitting back and letting our kids make decisions in
vacuum?

So ask. You'll learn more by asking questions. If something does't make
sense, then ask why we believe something to be true.

> Whatever happened to children
> needing boundaries?

And that common wisdom conclusion is based on what? On children who are
controlled and then let loose? On children whose parents are uncaring and
unaware?

How does that apply to parents who are very aware and very much attentive
whose children set their own boundaries?

(Boundaries that are set in the real life context of the rest of the
family's needs. Though my daughter could -- as could I -- play the stereo at
full volume at 2AM. But why would she? If she's treated with respect, there
isn't a reason for her to treat others with disrespect. Being conscious of
others needs isn't immediate and takes more years for some kids than others.
But if we understand that they aren't doing something because they're mean
and it's just because they can't understand yet we can help them deal with
it and work towards understanding without controling them and setting up
rules.)

Most adults would be livid if they were treated as children are treated by
parents. How would it make a wife feel if her husband told her she had to
start dinner at 5 or go to bed at 10? We accept that children need to be
treated differently than adults because "they just have to learn".

That's an assumptions that should be questioned in the light of parents here
who are helping their kids be aware of when their bodies are telling them to
rest rather than telling thier kids the clock knows them better than they
do.

If children are treated with disrespect then they will do as was modeled for
them.

> They don't need to be wholly left to their own devices -- that's
> why they are children and we are adults!

This is a tricky point. There just aren't the proper words to describe to
someone who is used to control what freedom means. People often read what's
written here and hear "left to their own devices."

Aware parenting isn't hands off. It's very hands on. Probably more hands on
than rules are because we're helping our children make their own decisions
rather than setting some rule in place and having them follow it.

> If I hadn't insisted when my kids were younger on their
> participating in certain events, taking up certain activities, etc., they
> never would have discovered their true interest in those activities.

Again, you don't know that. It's an assumption stated as fact.

In general society we hear and see the positive outcomes of children being
made to do something so it seems like a good thing.

But we can't see the interests that were killed because a child was made to
do something against their will.

You can't know what they would have discovered had they been allowed to make
their own choices. (Choices in a rich life where they had a variety of
opportunites to choose from, where the parents were also involved in doing
interesting things.) If you read long enough you'll see how parents can
encourage and make available without making kids do anything.

Joyce

[email protected]

In a message dated 6/6/03 12:31:14 AM, [email protected] writes:

<< As one of my favorite professors used to say, "I only have
to smell perfume to know a woman's been in the room." >>

That's not good logic.

<<The ability to handle frustration is one of the gifts we
possess as humans, but it's a skill that needs to be honed, as with any
other skill. >>

You mean by practicing with false frustration instead of waiting for the real
thing (which pretty much comes around at least once a day no matter how old a
person is)?

<<Delaying gratification is another very necessary "skill" we need to teach.
>>

Real life can't help but be full of delayed gratification, but withholding
something that's sitting RIGHT THERE just to practice false frustration is mean,
not helpful.

<<Allowing children -- who are not just little adults --
free rein over absolutely everything that affects their lives is doing
them a great disservice. It's hedonism gone berserk!!>>

You really don't know what you're talking about.
You're spewing embarrassing meanness for no advantage.
It doesn't change what we believe or are doing, and it doesn't make you a
better person nor does it make you seem intelligent.

Sandra

[email protected]

In a message dated 6/6/03 9:10:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
[email protected] writes:


> <<Allowing children -- who are not just little adults --
> free rein over absolutely everything that affects their lives is doing
> them a great disservice. It's hedonism gone berserk!!>>
>
> You really don't know what you're talking about.
> You're spewing embarrassing meanness for no advantage.
> It doesn't change what we believe or are doing, and it doesn't make you a
> better person nor does it make you seem intelligent.
>

I've been deleting most of this thread but want to say something here : )
Unschooling isn't starting a "Lord of the Flies" environment in one's home.
Although I too am still trying to grasp the wholeness of what it is, I think
that challenging this on this email list is inappropriate... ONLY because the
home page of the list says that this is for people who already do this... not
for people like you and me who are curious and trying to see if we are actually
unschoolers according to what goes on in these folks' lives here who belong to
this list. I want to know what it is too... but I don't want to challenge
the answers... I just want to know. If I over time find that I don't agree, I
will graciously move on (not that you should move on). ~Kris


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

unolist

--- In [email protected], Fetteroll <[email protected]>
wrote:
If you read long enough you'll see how parents can
> encourage and make available without making kids do anything.
>
> Joyce

It is such a double-edged sword. How can you be neglecting your
children and keeping them in a bubble at the same time? How can you
let them run loose and be hovering at the same time? Unschoolers have
been accused of both, sometimes by the same person. I can never
understand the inability of a person to refuse to understand someone
else's perspective. There are a lot of choices people make, and I try
my best to truly understand why they do what they do, even when I
don't agree with them. And I respect their choice and don't put them
down, even if we never agree.

I have had this same phenomenon from family members, and online
acquaintences on a message board. It can be so frustrating. I call it
the MOmmy wars. Some parent doing something different than the status
quo is perceived as some sort of threat, calling into judgement the
other parent's own choices. It's an assumed criticism, responded to
with condescending assumptions and insults as a self-defense. I have
seen it with homeschooling, attachment parenting, breastfeeding, stay
at home mothers. It can get quite ugly. It divides people quicker
than anything else I've seen.

I guess all that competition in school comes around full circle.

Blech.

Ang

[email protected]

In a message dated 6/6/03 2:25:35 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
[email protected] writes:

> If you have already unsubscribed, it is unfortunate. I hope that your
> unconscious mind is still thinking about what has really been said here.
> Perhaps this thread will help the facts of unschooling be explained for
> other newcomers and help make the world a better place through them and for
> them and their children.
>
> -Lisa in AZ
>

So very well said, Lisa!!! I tried too yesterday, but obviously to no avail.
I thought some headway was made when Christina said she was going to just
listen for awhile. From her posts though, that never happened. Oh well, win some,
lose some. I just find it a shame that she will forever think of Unschooling
as everything it isn't.

Rhonda - Still happy to be in these Shark-infested waters!!! I wouldn't
trade you all for a snake pit!!! LMAO

P.S. If she was so concerned about learning to deal with frustration or
whatever other term was used, she sure did a quick about face and her way of
dealing with it was to run away (unsubscribe). I thought she had more gumption than
that.


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

unolist

--- In [email protected], "unolist" <[email protected]>
wrote:
> . I can never
> understand the inability of a person to refuse to understand
someone
> else's perspective.

Oops, forgot to proofread. Some of my brain cells are down helping my
ankle heal LOL When I was pregnant, we called it placenta brain,
cells vacating the brain to help the baby grow. I have Ankle brain.
THat, or my painkillers fogging my mind hehe

ang

[email protected]

In a message dated 6/6/03 2:31:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
[email protected] writes:

> You folks talk about preventing
> your children from being exposed to rude people -

For me personally, I don't prevent my children from being exposed to rude
people. I hope to help him see what rudeness is, know that he doesn't have to
stick around and let someone be rude to him. And also help him to problem solve
in different situations with rude people so that he will be able to handle
different situations involving rude people. Rudeness is everywhere and there
are many ways to handle it.
Pam G.


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

Betsy

**My 2.5 yo has to wait for me to
finish going to the bathroom before I feed her sometimes.**


My 9 year old often has to wait for me to finish reading my mail before
I will play with him. Talk about an experience that really stretches
one's patience! (The waits tend to get longer during flame wars.)

Betsy