The problem with "Ridiculous"

-=-Not sure why people come on a list to say "we laughed" at what someone wrote. How about if I said I laughed? How would that come across? If I laughed at katelovessunshine's question(s)?-=-

It's happened a dozen times over the years I've been doing this. It's an odd (and rude) defense. And it's always "I read this to my husband and he laughed," or "I asked my daughter if she felt deprived, and she laughed."

I don't mind it as much as someone saying "That is ridiculous," which means "EVERYone is laughing at that."

The odd, rude defenses of people who aren't ready go look at what they're writing in public and what it might mean aren't going to keep me from being available to help those who *are* ready, able and willing to examine their relationships with their children and with learning.

Sandra Dodd, at Always Learning, 7/13/10

"Ridiculous." Please avoid that word on this list in any context.
"Ridiculous" is as bad as "this made me laugh," and for the same reason.

Any word that is no more than an insult should be avoided, please. If you are using such words without realizing it, that would be an excellent thing to watch out for. There are some toxic messages. "Stupid," "ridiculous," and LOL in response to anyone's volunteer time spent trying to help other people have happier lives are cold, at best.

-=-Maybe if I had called them toy boxes, what I was trying to accomplish (providing a variety of interesting things for my kids to do), wouldn't have gotten such a negative reaction?
-=-Or maybe I'm misunderstanding what you all are trying to say to me?- =-
I think you're misunderstanding. And you're considering people explanations to be "a negative reaction."

If by a positive reaction you were thinking sweet-to-bland praise or agreement, I know lots of people expect that's what they'll get from other moms on the internet. I have a collection of such messages here: /support

-=-I appreciated the deschooling link. I learn something new each time I re-read your pages. I really appreciate all of the work you've put into your website, Sandra. Thanks!-=-
You're welcome.
Appreciation is cool. Please watch any use of "made me laugh" or "ridiculous," not just on this list, but in ANY conversation with your children, your friends, relatives, strangers... They're not informational. If you want to say something, think as clearly as possible and state it in your own words, and in ways that will help others who are reading or hearing.

-=What I was trying to say goes deeper than this simplistic observation-=-

"Simplistic" needs to be put on the shelf next to "ridiculous" and "stupid," for the purposes of this list. It's too insulting to say that someone's observation is "simplistic."


Keep to unschooling on this list. Don't be yelling at people and insulting them. Stating that there are people who exaggerate is not about one single poster. Using all caps and saying "ridiculous" and "just goes to show" *is* about a single poster.
"Ridiculous" is not a good word to use when people are helping other people figure out how to live more peacefully. "Ridiculous" means worthy of ridicule. I don't like having honest questions called "ridiculous."
I object every time anyone uses the word "ridiculous" around me, and I object to "stupid" too. I think "f*ck" has less power to hurt than "ridiculous" or "stupid," and I think unschoolers should eradicate the words and the ideas from their thoughts and lives. **
"you seriously need help! psychological help! I've been reading this list since 2003! from my yahoo email - duh! I just moved all my lists to a separate email address so they wouldn't fill my main mailbox. How ridiculous you all are - I said I was looking for help and suggestions, and the only thing you did was assume and accuse - where is the "discussion" there? You all give unschooling a very very bad name."
one of four rude responses posted in a five minute spread late one night.

> You are still making it out as though you assume i don't spend time
> with my kids and i just like to throw their mistakes up in their
> faces. No, i wouldn't hope they got cold. That's ridiculous to assume.
It's not ridiculous.

I'm asking you questions so that you can really examine why you've chosen to write what you've written.

You have chosen your own words. You picked the stories to tell, the words to use, the tone, the punctuation, and you decided to hit "send."

Now stop insulting people who read what you wrote and interpret it through the lens of their more gentle lives. Telling me I'm wrong doesn't make me wrong. Telling me I'm wrong doesn't make you right. You need to BE right, not just throw more words at it.

I am not "making it out as though" you don't spend enough time with your kids. I have two boys, two and a half years apart in age. I know how long it takes to break a heater or a fan, and I know it doesn't happen when the mom is in the room. You want to be cooking in one room while your kids are doing something peaceful and quiet and safe in another room. That's not happening. I'm not assuming it's not happening, you're assuring us that it's not happening. You want to discover TWO WEEKS after something is broken that it's lying in your own yard in pieces, and then get mad at your child. You didn't spend much time in your yard during two weeks, or am I making a ridiculous assumption about that too?

-=-A window can get broken when you are in the room. -=-
Yes it can. Were you in the room when any of those windows got broken? (You don't need to tell us, you need to consider whether your statement "A window can get broken when you are in the room" has anything to do with YOUR windows getting broken.
-=-And my point about being pregnant had nothing to do with cooking-=-
It was in the same sentence. Like "cold" and "pool" were in the same sentence.
-=-I really wish you could just keep harsh assumptions to yourself.-=-
For how long? Until your kids are grown? Until you forget that you asked for help?
-=-I didn't ask those questions sarcastically just to test the responses i would get. -=-
I assumed (not ridiculously) that you asked the questions because you wanted honest answers from people who might be willing to volunteer to read what you wrote and freely offer you suggestions to change directions.

Sandra **

And of "LOL" (from Always Learning,
I bristle every time someone uses the word "ridiculous" here, or who writes "LOL" to someone else's comment.

I'm going to share something that illustrates what I'm objecting to. These discussions here (and on facebook) happen in front of an audience, a readership, friends, strangers. I worry a little about the progress and the soul of the person who is belittling good advice. I worry more about those who might have perked up at the life-improving idea, but then were deflated by the scoffing of someone who would've done better to write nothing at all.

If anyone knows who this is, don't say; it's here for the ideas, not for the individuals

An unschooling mom quoted this, from Just Add Light, on facebook:

> Anything you feel you "have to" do is entrapping and stifling.

Something you *choose* to do can be empowering and enlivening. ~ Sandra Dodd ♥ i LOVE her.♥

FACEBOOK FRIEND wrote: Cleaning and cooking are entrapping and stifling!! Giving [somebody else] your post !!!<3

UNSCHOOLING MOM: but if you chose to do it~ out of love~ it empowers you. and can be rewarding. :-)

FACEBOOK FRIEND wrote: I will keep re-reading your post BA!! As I clean, sigh lol

UNSCHOOLING MOM: ♥ but it changes everything when we do it cheerfully thinking that we are taking care of our family's. ♥
i did have a friend who HATED cleaning so much though she worked outside the home to get just enough money to pay a cleaning lady each week! ☺

FACEBOOK FRIEND wrote: Lol ^^^^.......maybe I'll be empowered tomorrow ;0)

It's true that some people aren't ready to consider that they have options, or they don't care, or they like the combination of powerlessness and complaining.
And that was a facebook page, not an unschooling discussion.

But the reason "LOL" is bad here is for the reason that shows in the notes above.


Empower and Enliven
Anything you feel you "have to" do is entrapping and stiffling. Something you *choose* to do can be empowering and enlivening.11/7/13 Empower and enliven! photo P3160267.jpg
photo by Marty Dodd

Mindfulness and Words When Parents have Issues Phrases to Hear and Avoid

Seeing and avoiding negativity