Some folks swear by strewing, others think it's manipulative. There are other threads on strewing--who does, who doesn't. But none address this quite so thoroughly-- is manipulation always bad? Is it bad only when kids feel it's bad? What exactly is "manipulation"? Can one *unintentionally* manipulate? If so, how is that possible? And if so, what action *wouldn't* be considered manipulation? It can't always be defined by another's reaction? Or can it? (????)
I used to have conversations about "manipulation" years ago before relating it to strewing and unschooling. I found it frustrating that others felt "manipulation" = "bad". But clearly, sometimes it is. My mother, I felt, was emotionally manipulative and it drove me crazy! But other times I've been accused of manipulating things and been a bit surprised. Well, OK.
Today the mood is a bit.... needy and emotional in my house. I brought out grandpa's quilt and there it sits, waiting a bit to be discovered or at a key moment, I can loudly discover it myself. Grandpa's quilt means circle time and guitars and stories, and togetherness where we are all sharing. They really enjoy it, although it dosn't always permanently fix a foul mood.I really want the guitars out more, and this would be a good start.
But, it's manipulative, isn't it? Is that bad? I've been told by some it is. It's not "you need this whether you know it or not" or "this activity is superior to the ones you've chosen." Well, scratch that. It is superior to teasing and fights and one-sided activities where I end up playing with one or reading to another while the other has her own game (some days that's OK, other days it gets read as "I love your sister more" and this could be one of those days).
So, manipulation=bad? Therefore strewing=bad? Do you feel one way (manipulation=sometimes good, for example) but your child feel differently? Is it really dependent on adult and child and family? Or is it something more definitively one way or another, regardless of situation?
Does anyone remember any old thread that covers just this fabulously? I'm really more interested in exploring the issue of manipulation in regards to strewing--where our opinions on this come from and why. If you can link to an old conversation, I'd love it.