Considering and undoing feelings of resentment, for unschooling parents. Sometimes resentment is the feeling of being crowded and "put-upon." Sometimes it is jealousy of kids whose lives are easier than our own were. With some consideration, resentment can be felt, seen, and dealt with in loving, peaceful ways.

Creation (by accident)

You can create more resentment by trying to prevent all resentment.

photo by Sandra Dodd

When the post above was new, an anonymous comment was left, and I responded.


I am certainly learning this! Would love some ideas on how to NOT do it, please?


Doing sweet, kind things for children is better than trying to "make" children "be fair." Doing things that will make a child happy is better than trying to Only do things that make all your children equally happy at the same time, all the time.

Pour kindness and generosity out, and there will be more kindness and generosity right then.


Here are quotes of the word having come up naturally in other writings collected on this site:

When I said "okay" to Kirby I was saying okay to the little Sandra inside me who might otherwise have built up some jealous resentment about this new kid getting to do things I never got to do. It was healing to imagine that if my mom had been fortunate enough to have other influences and better circumstances maybe she would have said yes to me more often too.
—Sandra Dodd, Young Adults

[T]his morning when Linnaea got dressed she was wearing a shirt that I'd folded last night and put away. She wouldn't have known that she could wear that shirt if I hadn't taken the time to put it were it was easy to find. And so it changed from being burden and chore to being a gift that I gave her, which washed away all the resentment I felt last night.

—Schuyler Waynforth, Serving Others as a Gift

Anytime I feel resentment building up I try to look at the activity or situation in the light of death. If the one I loved were gone, cleaning up after them or reminding them of something for the thousandth time might seem endearing, rather than irritating.

—Ren Allen, Gratitude

How can one get from resentment and rigidity to an outpouring of love? Too mushy? It happens.

Living Better Without Requiring Chores (Sandra)

When I thought in terms of "have to" (I "have to" do such and such to achieve my goal) I found myself starting to resent the activity...

—Pam Laricchia

Choice is a really important concept—not just semantics. It's the difference between anger, regret, resentment and happiness, comfort and joy in life.
—Danielle Conger
Thinking about "Have To"

It will be paid for by anger and resentment (from parents and kids) and kids who would rather be anywhere else than with us. It's more likely to create kids who want to be away from us as teens and adults. . . . . you're passing that resentment onto your kids. Who will pass it onto their kids.

—Joyce Fetteroll, "I want to scream!"

"Our turn" is full of responsibilities: bills and providing for everyone but ourselves. So we build up resentment. We resent when spouses take time for "their turn" to do the things they want. We resent when kids spend all day playing. (Not really seeing what their lives look like through their eyes and how powerless they really are.) We resent when we spend all our time doing for others: shopping and cleaning and cooking and schlepping them around. And the only way it seems that we can get "our turn" is to take from our kids— "No, I can't add another thing to my schedule, you've got it all filled up with your stuff! I'm doing something for me now! This is *my* time!" and rag on our husbands for not relieving the burden so we can have "our turn".

But it's a big old trap. The "you need to change so I can get what I need" pushes everyone away. It causes divorces.

—Joyce Fetteroll, Spouses: Unschooling can make us better partners!

I used to HATE the resentment of "Why should *I* do this?" and so I just decided to change what I thought about what "this" was and why anyone had to do it. It was a philosophical shift.

—Mary, Making the Shift

This was written of one-year-olds in high chairs:

"They are manipulative by nature and we need to teach them we are not their puppet."

It wasn't a face-to-face put-down, but it showed an attitude of antagonism and resentment. What a sad atmosphere for that poor sweet child who is about to learn that his mother isn't very nice, nor very aware of child development. And it was written by a mother, to other mothers, hoping they would agree with her and sympathize with her.

I saved it on the phrases page: Phrases to Hear and Avoid

Building an Unschooling Nest

Rejecting a Pre-Packaged Life

Parenting Peacefully