Life After Waldorf ~ A Support Group - Page 12 - Mothering Forums

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#331 of 1201 Old 10-06-2007, 11:15 PM
 
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Bean we all have those ARRGH moments, just proves we are human and not Walfbots.
So we have entered a new phase in our Waldorf free life. A very angry dd. She's super happy at school, never wants to go back to Waldorf, etc... But we are having anger issues. They aren't terrible, it's just perplexing. I know why she's having these outbursts and they are usually at dinner. They are like big emotional blow ups, like when you've had enough and you just flip. Usually about how terrible my food is or how unfair something is at the table and they don't last long! I know she's angry at the situations that occured at Waldorf. Does anyone have suggestions or experienced this? We have sort of turned a corner, I think. Of course if I write about it will be something else but for now it's what's happening. What happened was last weekend we went to a surprise birthday party for a good friend of ours, who was my dd's teacher (for a short time) and has children in the Waldorf school. Well I thought it was a small get together. Yikes it was like 1/4-1/2 the freaking school! HOLY F***. I knew there'd be people from the school there just not on this level. Unfortunately my dd reverted back to her whiney, crying, and getting into accidental situations because she wants to be part of the rough group. Waldorf kids at the party were way too rough/mean and I spoke to some of the boys because of fist fighting that was going to happen. I got attitude problems from almost of them. Like yeah you won't do that, tone in their voices. They were trying to support why they were going to beat up another child. Ugh!!! After the party my husband was questioning why don't the parents discipline their children? I don't think that there would have been this huge of a problem if it was done at home. Correct me if I'm wrong. My daughter even told me she thought that the kids at her new school are way better behaved because of how their parents raise them.
So after that revelation on her part, she has been very helpful and not as angry but I would like this sort of interaction to continue. I do not want to go through counseling again because of the $$$. So I'm open to whatever anyone can suggest.
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#332 of 1201 Old 10-06-2007, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, dear, sweet Ravenna. Sometimes I just need to hear from someone else I am normal, kwim? Thanks for that. So much.

Wow. About your dd and anger... I HAVE to say that it sounds like a totally normal and even HEALTHY reaction! Yay! We went through this, too. He** even I went through it as the adult. To me it signifies a defiant reaction toward the perpetrators. A sort of "I WILL NOT be knocked down by you anymore! I WILL NOT believe your crap about my self-worth anymore!"

Anger is empowerment when it is handled properly, and it is a healthy emotion when channeled properly. Your daughter is empowered. How fantastic is THAT?

I can only share what we did to handle it. We talked and talked. We went to the river and screamed out over the water. We built things and pretended they were the Waldorf teachers and knocked them down with brute force. I allowed my son to say, at home or in the car, that "Those teachers SUCKED! I HATE them!"

Then we continued the conversation into "What misery those teachers must feel inside to treat us the way they did." "How sad. How pitiful. How pathetic."

Keep on truckin', ravenna. You and your dc are such an inspiration to me.
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#333 of 1201 Old 10-07-2007, 10:25 PM
 
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Oh Ravenna, I really hear you, and our family is standing on the same cliff right now. I have to either go back and re-read, or if it's not too distressing, maybe you could remind me of the specifics of your situation-if you wish-fine if not. But I will tell you that we are dealing in our family with not so much anger as lots of confusion. Pub. school has been so good for my DD right now, because she is learning so well, and she loves her teachers, and has settled into her school. She was used to being the kid who didn't get things quickly in her old school, and was clearly labeled as such. All of the onus was put on her as the learner, and frankly, the teaching methods didn't reach her very well. This year, surprise, doing well, catching up nicely, showing strengths we never thought, or were told, she had. Every day, literally, feels like a success story. The confusion comes because she believed, and I think absorbed in school, that the waldorf way (my words) was the best way to teach/learn. It is amazing what little children pick up from the attitudes of those adults they admire and love. So her role as the child who was fairly marginalized in the classroom is substantially shifting, and she is confused about why she ever had to be in such a difficult place to begin with. I think we're slightly behind you on the anger front-it's coming I think, as she realizes how exciting learning can be, and that teachers are there to help you learn, and that no one has to sit "unknowing" . So everyday we support, support, support our child, and thank the teachers who are teaching her so well.

And, I agree about the behavior issues. The difference is strikingly positive in my child's new school. How to explain this? Boundaries and expectations around social issues are clear cut, and focus on respect. This creates a safe learning environment, as no one seems to be worried about being hurt or bullied because it is simply not tolerated. Oh, I am sure this will happen at some point, I am not naive, but certainly we are used to much more challenging behavioral issues, as it sounds like you are as well.
Sorry for the rant-this is very close to me. I just want to say that many, many ex-WS parents have told me the first year out was the toughest, and emotionally the most baggage to be dealt with happened during that year. Hang on.

Bean--sorry for your bad moment! There are lots of triggers out there, I know. You are so strong!
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#334 of 1201 Old 10-09-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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Oh wow
I am so glad to find this. I was feeling pretty lonely in post-traumatic anthroposopohy. I could literally write a book about this... but I will spare you guys all the grisley details! I want to say that I do not think people that go to Waldorf are "bad" I am just relating and looking for healing in my and my childrens experiences. When I first found out about Waldorf I was so happy I thought that it sounded like something that supported my beliefs..Not pushing children into things before they are ready, being surrounded by gentleness and beauty, etc. I enrolled my eldest son who was 5 at the time. I also began to do classroom support every friday. Nowkeep in mind I was 23 at the time and my husband and I were pretty low income at the time so we would take turns getting up early to come clean the school-to help with tuition. At the first parent /teacher meeting the teacher expressed concern about our son- he kept insisting on - gasp-drawing dinosaurs!! When the rest of the class was drawing what they were supposed to. You see the "beautiful" artwork that children at waldorf create is basically dictated to them--this is what we are drawing, these are the colors we use, this is how we do it. So you have 20 pictures in the hall of an apple. ( I would rather see the childs own creative perspective) Well my sons drawings were showing that he had emotional problems- they were concerned for his poor,little, damaged spirit. Now at the time I immediately felt like a terrible parent, I wanted to do anything I could to be better and to help him. I did not even think to question... Over the next couple years I did everything I could think of to help my son and to follow the waldorf way but i started to become aware of a few things..the children were not allowed to use the color black, All the women teachers are supposed to wear long pastel dresses and speak quietly, I did not observe any way the male teachers had to dress or speak differently. The children were supposed to observe the female teachers making specific gestures such as sewing, ironing, cooking and knitting. Hmmmm.... I observed that the whole thing was incredibly eurocentric and elitist. We can only use this paint brush and this paint and these toys and this color. Now I can get all behind fair trade and responsible consumerisim- but this is alittle beyond --to me it feels very materialistic. Everything came to a head when I found out that my youngest son was being molested in the bathrooms by older children. The whole staff knew that the 2nd grade boys were messing with the kindergartners- cps had even been called. But no one had told me that my son was involved!!! I diddnt even know about it until my son told me. I marched into the office and demanded to know how the children were going to be kept safe... They refused to talk to me and I was given the cold shoulder by all the staff. Now this same week I had another parent/teacher conference the teacher told me that she believed that my eldest son was a sociopath. She believed this because he kept running away and he had bitten a child. When I got the whole story from her it turned out a group of children had my son cornered -they had sticks and were poking him with them. He bit one of the children to get away and ran off. Okay I call this self-defense. Some of the children who did this and who regularly did this were the staffs children-who NEVER got reprimanded. They were literally the biggest bullies of the school. After hearing this I pulled my children out and began to homeschool. Since that time I have also done some research into Steiner and I am not all that impressed. Here is another guy telling us moms everything we do wrong to mess up our kids-including family beds ( pushes your etheric body on to the child), breastfeeding past 9 months-very bad!! having certain colors or patterns oin your childrens clothing. Competitive sports are very bad- they will give you diseases- yes it is true! Also any taped music/sound is very bad. I just have to say I really dont care for the everything is scary, bad and gonna mess us up perspective. I will not make my desicions based on fear of the bad thing. And I dont think it is a healthy message for children that they are the center of every fear-based desicion. Okay I am going to get off the soap box!! I am glad to find this thread and to connect with all of you.:
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#335 of 1201 Old 10-09-2007, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome, capricorngirl.

I am running on a headache tonight, but I will certainly check back and respond to your post tomorrow. This is a good place to find support.

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#336 of 1201 Old 10-10-2007, 12:21 AM
 
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Thank you bean, you know flattery will get you everywhere, in life. I really need to know that this is just a phase. I figured but it's always good to hear that I'm not the only one! How do you keep from mentally kicking yourself in the a** everyday? I guess that's the hardest thing on me.
Karne, my daughter was bullied probably everyday. I heard this from other parents, and we have never gotten into specifics with her. We probably will soon though. What you said about there being boundaries in public school was perfect. Children need boundaries and all that play time at Waldorf creates problems. There are no boundaries to keep the children in order. I'm so happy that your dc is doing well. It's nice to know there are other parents out there who can relate.
So this a general friendship question. Have/did your "Waldorf friends" ditch you like a dirty smelly sock? I still go to a handworks group which is not limited to Waldorf mom's but advertised at the Waldorf school. I do enjoy going because depending upon who is there, it isn't all Waldorf related. There some very amazing stories and cool hand work projects to learn. I find that the people who said that we would still be friends never call. Of if they do they need advice. I think I should start charging. How did/are you gals transition into finding new friends?
I know there's always getting involved in the PTA and stuff but after all the phone calls and trying to arrage playdates at Waldorf, I'm wary of the social interaction. Did anyone else feel that there was an age clique with Waldorf?
Wow Capricorn girl! You hit the nail right on with how Waldorf is very much like a dictatorship. I was thinking that the lessons really do not let the child create for themselves. Or from themselves. They have to copy and be who they aren't. I'm very sorry to hear what your dc went through. It shocks me that adults do not stop these things from occuring, when they are legally obligated to. I hope the children who hurt your child, were dealt with properly! I'm glad you found us!
Sorry to go on and on. I've been meaning to sit down and write but have been busy.
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#337 of 1201 Old 10-10-2007, 12:59 AM
 
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Welcome capricorngirl,
Oh what a terrible story! Your poor children!
I hate to say it,yet again....but it is like I keep hearing slightly different versions of the same story about waldorf. It is terrible
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#338 of 1201 Old 10-10-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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Ravenna, my healthy, mature loving friends have been my friends no matter what because we have connected as adults. We are respectful and caring of one another, despite the fact that our kids are not in the same school. We care about each other on a human level, not because we meet an ideological criteria. With others I've had your experience-very threatened by our choices or disapproving. I don't care all that much now, as I am clear about who I want to have in my life, and in my children's lives. I encourage my child to maintain the relationships she chooses to, and I trust her judgement about this. I primarily want to teach my children that we value people for who they are, not because of the educational philosophy they hold, or whether they eat the right foods, or wear the right clothes, have the right religion....the list could go on and on. Are they kind, loving, do you feel good with that person, are they respectful, make good choices-at the core, regardless of what pedagogy you subscribe so, these are qualities of people I want in our lives. I guess somewhere in there is a niggling notion that this has to do with tolerance for others and different belief systems. Too much intolerance of differences going around these days in my mind.

I am sorry about the bullying...it seems so pervavisive in the WS, and it truly takes away the energy a child has for attending to the work of being in the class.
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#339 of 1201 Old 10-10-2007, 02:00 PM
 
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Hi Everyone!
Thanks for the understanding. Sorry I went off on quite a tangent in my first post. I just get going sometimes and it gets a little crazy! Ravenna- we also experienced a lot of anger with our two sons- I think Bean is totally right on -this is healthy and your daughter probebly has a lot to process. It is interesting that it happens a lot at the table.. maybe she is really wanting her family to see and acknowledge her anger. When my boys were acting out alot this way at first I was mortified and kept trying to "hush" them up..I was worried about people thinking I was a bad mom with awful violent children. Than I realised that I needed to validate their experience of being bullied, frightened and insecure. I said things to them like" wow you are really angry, you want us to know that you are mad about..." we talked about using our words and that no one has the right to hurt others and that the people that were supposed to take care of them let them down. This did help alot. I am not saying I am perfect or have all the answers -this was just our particular situation. Oh and yeah I pretty much lost all my "friends " at waldorf when I started to have questions.. Although I still have one really good friend from there but she is really able to look at it in an objective way and say "okay this place needs to evolve, there are issues here..but it is working for my children and we are comfortable here."
Karne- Yes! I think it is really important to not let a specific dogma/ anti-dogma rule all your decisions and how you treat others. I have had to watch my self with that. Like sometimes I have felt so judged or treated badly that I start having a very negative attitude about certain groups. Which doesnt help the situation!
Jalilah- isnt it wacky how similar alot of our experiences are? It seems that it is a specific issue within the application of the Waldorf system. Alright I need to get going for the day!
Namaste everyone
Gabrielle
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#340 of 1201 Old 10-11-2007, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ravenna, I was very very very lucky to have 2 friends who love me for me and totally believe me. They stayed in the school...but have left now, too for various reasons. Our kids are the same age, but my kids mostly hang around with neighborhood and school kids. It simply just. took. time.

The other dozen people who dropped me like a smelly sock upset me, and I had to work through it. It challenged my self esteem to the core and I came out stronger and wiser and more self assured than I could have ever bee had we stayed. Same for ds1. It is true that time heals all wounds because time allowed me to:

1. See these "waldorf friends" people in action for who they were---not people I can trust or admire.
2. Grow up myself and realize I was not being my authentic self when I was around the waldorfers anyway. What happened to that goofy, silly, happy, smart, oen minded hippie girl I once was? Luckily, I have found her and she is back with a vengence.

I know without a doubt the same will happen for your family and you. I do feel guilty about what ds went through. But now I know I was always:
honest
clear
trusting

and the people at the school were the ones with the problems.
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#341 of 1201 Old 10-11-2007, 11:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When my boys were acting out alot this way at first I was mortified and kept trying to "hush" them up..I was worried about people thinking I was a bad mom with awful violent children.
OMG I remember those feelings so vividly! What a red flag they were, but we get too overwhelmed by Waldorf to see it clearly.
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#342 of 1201 Old 10-12-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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Thank you everyone for giving me insight into their friendships and children's behaviors. I did start to talk to my daughter yesterday but was interrupted by a deer running across the road. I'm going to try again today since we actually have time together without dh and my other dc. She told me she wasn't angry, she just wished her school didn't exist. She tends to worry, so I'm wondering if she is worrying about her friends who stayed.
I found it hard to be myself with all the rules required (by Waldorf) to be a loving caring parent. I felt like I was supposed to be emotionally dead inside. It also bothered me that we weren't supposed to ask how our child's day was. Which I thought was odd. I didn't need to know if my daughter had a good or bad day. I could tell by looking at her face and see that she needed to talk. I wonder if this isn't just a way to keep the parents from knowing what really goes on at the school.
I guess time will tell if really people are who they say they are. I know the school's budget is in financial crisis this year. So sometimes I feel like my conversations are more like, well if your daughter isn't doing well she should come back to boost the budget. Which I can understand why people ask, they are worried about their own children. Many people have worked so hard and to see it crumple would be devastating.
Thanks again for your wonderful posts. +-I have a little gremlin playing with my keys.
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#343 of 1201 Old 10-12-2007, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I could tell by looking at her face and see that she needed to talk. I wonder if this isn't just a way to keep the parents from knowing what really goes on at the school.
As a former waldorf teacher, I can say my experience with that whole attitude of "don't question the child about her day" is said to be based in letting her spirit incarnate properly without bringing her into too much intellect...

... but it was used as a crutch to keep the parents at a certain distance from what goes on in the school.

Again we come full circle and are talking about the belief in waldorf that the child comes through the parents to find his destiny. He is guided towards his destiny by the teacher. I have heard the literal statement: "The child's relationship with the teacher is more important than with his parents".

I was taught that Anthroposophy views children as spirits who incarnate into a location, looking for their teachers as a primary goal. One teacher at my school stated (this is a paraphrase),

"The very year I felt called to get my waldorf training was the very year my current students were born."

O.M.G. Puh-leeeeeeeeeeeez. That would be a sweet sentiment IF waldorf teachers did not disrespect the familial bond so. freaking. much.

I learned in teacher training that the "9 1/2 year old change" in 3rd/4th was about children moving away from their family ancestry (tribal consciousness) and toward their destiny (individual consciousness). Again, the very manner in which root of this idea is manifested in the schools is disrespectful in my view.
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#344 of 1201 Old 10-13-2007, 11:21 AM
 
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Bean I'm really interested in your statement about the nine year change because I have always felt that what was put out there, ie child emerging into a different sort of consciousness, did in fact have a different significance for the teachers. Am I clear? I also have had the experience of being told that WE was "curative", and the intent of the conversation was to make clear that what was happening in the school setting remediated in some form the home setting. This was said to early on in our WE journey, about another family, and I remember then thinking it was a shocking and arrogant statement. Should have listened to those alarm bells.
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#345 of 1201 Old 10-13-2007, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bean I'm really interested in your statement about the nine year change because I have always felt that what was put out there, ie child emerging into a different sort of consciousness, did in fact have a different significance for the teachers. Am I clear? I also have had the experience of being told that WE was "curative", and the intent of the conversation was to make clear that what was happening in the school setting remediated in some form the home setting. This was said to early on in our WE journey, about another family, and I remember then thinking it was a shocking and arrogant statement. Should have listened to those alarm bells.
Arrogant is an appropriate word in this instance. The remediationaspects are seen to be kind of like "softening the hard edges of an imperfect earthly realm/world" and reminding the students whose destiny drew them to waldorf, that they are spiritual beings on a mission for Michael, the archangel who is "in charge" for the next 300 years.Then it will shift to one of the other archangels. This is why the kids are taught about Creation (... "the archangels wove warm and cool, each represents a color and note, so they wove the 7 musical notes and 7 colors, until "spark" there was light")... bla bla bla.

All of this "remediation is something waldorf thinks parents are unable to do themselves, I guess.

This is a lot of info. in one post. Sorry. To be honest, I am hungover for the first time in three years!:

More later....

PS Don't assume I don't believe in creation, God, the archangels....

it's just that I think they are much cooler, compassionate, loving, forgiving, and gentle than WALDORF portrays them to be. And they are better at displaying these qualities than waldorf is.
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#346 of 1201 Old 10-13-2007, 11:59 PM
 
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Bean I knew you would have insight into this topic. Oh and Ravenna-we got the anger tonight, and boy it's painful. Had to do with with bullying and completely, emphatically (?sp-sorry) saying that some of the kids who did the bullying would never be able to see her again or hurt anyone else. This out of the blue, with much!!emotion at the dinner table. DH and I just looked at each other and tried to be calm, supportive-me trying not to cry, as our child wrestled with this. Althoughthe bullying was painful for her, watching it happen to others was obviously more frightening for her. This is tough-please hold us in your thoughts right now.
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#347 of 1201 Old 10-14-2007, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bean I knew you would have insight into this topic. Oh and Ravenna-we got the anger tonight, and boy it's painful. Had to do with with bullying and completely, emphatically (?sp-sorry) saying that some of the kids who did the bullying would never be able to see her again or hurt anyone else. This out of the blue, with much!!emotion at the dinner table. DH and I just looked at each other and tried to be calm, supportive-me trying not to cry, as our child wrestled with this. Althoughthe bullying was painful for her, watching it happen to others was obviously more frightening for her. This is tough-please hold us in your thoughts right now.
Wow. I am definitely holding you all in my thoughts right now, and am sending you positive light...

You are breaking through. Good for you and good for dd.

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#348 of 1201 Old 10-15-2007, 12:27 AM
 
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Feeling the positive light...Thanks! We're having some pretty open family conversation right now about kindness, respect and feeling safe. Even though we often heard that the social dynamic was fine, no bullying, etc., quite clearly it wasn't fine at all. I think we are hearing about this issue because there is a level of safety now-my child doesn't deal with this dynamic everyday anymore.
I keep going back to what friends have told me-the first year is the most diffficult, esp. as you weed out the bad stuff, and decide what of waldorf you will keep in your life.
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#349 of 1201 Old 10-15-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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Hello everyone
Karne -I can really empathise with what you and your family are going through. I am thinking of you. Remember to be gentle with yourself! You are all in a healing phase -I think what you heard was pretty right on- this first year will be the most difficult. I had so many feelings -rage that my familiys trust was betrayed, sadness for my childrens harsh introduction to cruelty and also sadness about letting go of the "dream"- my ideal of how my childrens school experience would be- I imagined beauty, song, celebration, community and it was hard to let it go. Especially when it seemed to work so perfectly for others. I felt like "why dont we get to have this experience too?"
Oh wow Bean-what you were saying about the Teacher and the children incarnating at the same time as her desicion to become a teacher--that really triggered me. I was remembering how my oldest ds teacher made comments like this. I remember thinking --okay so according to your belief what does this mean kharmicly that this child "chose" you and you did not protect him, in fact knew he was being treated badly, and you made it seem like it was my and my husbands fault. I dont feel like anthroposohy is terrible - but at the school we were at it felt that it was twisted a lot to excuse everything the teacher did or did not do. Okay -sorry everyone-I just get going..I am working on getting more succinct..
Namaste
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#350 of 1201 Old 10-16-2007, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Feeling the positive light...Thanks! We're having some pretty open family conversation right now about kindness, respect and feeling safe. Even though we often heard that the social dynamic was fine, no bullying, etc., quite clearly it wasn't fine at all. I think we are hearing about this issue because there is a level of safety now-my child doesn't deal with this dynamic everyday anymore.
I keep going back to what friends have told me-the first year is the most diffficult, esp. as you weed out the bad stuff, and decide what of waldorf you will keep in your life.
That makes a lot of sense. I mean, if we think about it, all abusive relationships are like that: the one who is being abused kind of freezes in the headlights and only thinks about day-to-day survival. At first I was going to say that example was a little too strong, but I think now it is perfect. Abuse takes many forms:mental, emotional, physical, overt, covert.:

So now dd feels safe, protected, taken care of... and she is cleansing and sorting out the gunk and getting rid of it.
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#351 of 1201 Old 10-16-2007, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello everyone
Karne -I can really empathise with what you and your family are going through. I am thinking of you. Remember to be gentle with yourself! You are all in a healing phase -I think what you heard was pretty right on- this first year will be the most difficult. I had so many feelings -rage that my familiys trust was betrayed, sadness for my childrens harsh introduction to cruelty and also sadness about letting go of the "dream"- my ideal of how my childrens school experience would be- I imagined beauty, song, celebration, community and it was hard to let it go. Especially when it seemed to work so perfectly for others. I felt like "why dont we get to have this experience too?"
Oh wow Bean-what you were saying about the Teacher and the children incarnating at the same time as her desicion to become a teacher--that really triggered me. I was remembering how my oldest ds teacher made comments like this. I remember thinking --okay so according to your belief what does this mean kharmicly that this child "chose" you and you did not protect him, in fact knew he was being treated badly, and you made it seem like it was my and my husbands fault. I dont feel like anthroposohy is terrible - but at the school we were at it felt that it was twisted a lot to excuse everything the teacher did or did not do. Okay -sorry everyone-I just get going..I am working on getting more succinct..
Namaste
:
Wow. Don't apologize. What you said was very eloquent and I am always grateful to hear someone describe things so well. You see, it reaffirms to me that ds and I are not the only ones. You'd think I'd know that by now...but...um....my former Waldorf school did a good number on us.

Anthroposophy is so ethereal, so vague, so hierarchical that many people quote it in ignorance, turning things in their favor/power to use against others.

I forget who said it here, but the Waldorf framework has the ability tp draw people with insecurities and places them in positions of power not always based on their life experience or education. Those of us strong enough to go "hold on" get burned.
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#352 of 1201 Old 10-16-2007, 11:41 AM
 
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I had been thinking about sending my kids (although we could never afford it) to Waldorf Schools. But, after reading this...I can believe it. Yea,there are lots of problems with public schools, but I think that we can overcome them, bc we are used to being a little different than most others anyway. I will extend their learning at home, through music and through the outdoors. I can't imagine going through what you all went through. Not being able to question authority without being somehow oppressed. That is backwards to what we thought "this community" was about. I am not totally against Waldorf, but I think going in the public direction is better for us. Thanks for sharing.
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#353 of 1201 Old 10-16-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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Hi everyone. I really want to say thanks for the support these past few days. I have really appreciated it. We are hanging in there-actually much better than that right now. I think for my dd verbalizing her anger and frustration at the bullying issue this weekend was cathartic-if that makes sense? It was so disturbing for her to watch the way some of the children were treated by others, and then have the responsibility placed back on the children to fix their own style of interacting. Just did not work. And this was a major dissconnect for our family-we are all about treating each other respectfully and kindly, even in the tough moments, and we work HARD at this, with varying moments of success or failure. But the point is, we have a value system in our little family that supports this behavior. At scghool I felt these values were undermined because the antisocial behavior was pervasive, and explained away, but not dealt with.

And motherwolf, good for you for having eyes wide open. I am not sure anyone here is totally against waldorf, per se, but we have had some tough experiences, often with those in positions of power in the WS. I would say my family looks more "waldorf" right now than some in the WS community, oddly enough. But that is because many of the ideals we incorporated as a family because they fit us, BEFORE we ever came to a WS. And we will hold on to those because the broad ideals suit us, and some of them, ie rhythym in your day low/no media, are just plain common sense and have nothing actually to do with whether you send your kid to a WS or not. It's just good parenting, and pretty mainstream at that. Personally, I think it's easy to paint your rooms certain colors, play with wooden toys, etc., and call yourself waldorf. But until you have studies, and I mean studied, anthroposophy and can articulate the reasons for what you do, and what happens in the classroom (and not just early childhood), you are not truly informed. It amazes me that people think that those who have had difficult waldorf experiences were not informed or educated enough. I think the depth and breadth of experience/knowledge in those here, and who I have met who have chosen another path is astounding. It is, in my experience, the more informed, thinking, individual who often struggles. Some reconcile their feelings and choose to stay, and others find that staying is unacceptable.
OK-sorry for the rant, ladies!
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#354 of 1201 Old 10-16-2007, 11:46 PM
 
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Wow, I've been thinking alot about the board and haven't found time until now to read.
Karne, it's amazing how children blow up, isn't it. It's like a quick powerful storm. I didn't know how to react to my daughter the first few times. I just sat there in shock. I'm glad you were able to take it in and respond to it in a positive light. It will get much easier.
My dd has really calmed down and is greatly enjoying school. She loves the challenges and is disappointed when there aren't tests. You read the last sentence right, she loves being tested. One of the many things Waldorf avoided. She also joined Girl Scouts this past week. I wanted her to still have a sense of helping the community and learn to work with others towards goals. I received a random thank you hug tonight. It's nicer than the needy hugs she had when she was at Waldorf. Those bone crushing I want to crawl back into the womb, hugs.
The thought that the teacher is called to the class, always made me wonder, what happens if the teacher doesn't work out. It didn't in my experience, the children had 4 teachers. So to say that the teacher is called to the class sounds great but doesn't work. Not all people can teach. They may want to but some people do not have it in them. At least our 1st teacher didn't.
Good to hear that everyone is doing well and making progress.
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#355 of 1201 Old 10-17-2007, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would say my family looks more "waldorf" right now than some in the WS community, oddly enough. But that is because many of the ideals we incorporated as a family because they fit us, BEFORE we ever came to a WS. And we will hold on to those because the broad ideals suit us, and some of them, ie rhythym in your day low/no media, are just plain common sense and have nothing actually to do with whether you send your kid to a WS or not.

It's just good parenting, and pretty mainstream at that. Personally, I think it's easy to paint your rooms certain colors, play with wooden toys, etc., and call yourself waldorf.

But until you have studies, and I mean studied, anthroposophy and can articulate the reasons for what you do, and what happens in the classroom (and not just early childhood), you are not truly informed.

It amazes me that people think that those who have had difficult waldorf experiences were not informed or educated enough. I think the depth and breadth of experience/knowledge in those here, and who I have met who have chosen another path is astounding. It is, in my experience, the more informed, thinking, individual who often struggles.
GASP! Wow! Perfect. Couldn't say it any better.

Do you think that whole thing would fit in my siggie?


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#356 of 1201 Old 10-17-2007, 11:36 PM
 
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You have amde some very good points Karne,
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Originally Posted by karne View Post
informed. It amazes me that people think that those who have had difficult waldorf experiences were not informed or educated enough. I think the depth and breadth of experience/knowledge in those here, and who I have met who have chosen another path is astounding. It is, in my experience, the more informed, thinking, individual who often struggles. Some reconcile their feelings and choose to stay, and others find that staying is unacceptable.
OK-sorry for the rant, ladies!
Very true!
Yes this amazes me and hurts me too when hear (or read it in the other forum) that people who have problems with Waldorf are "not informed". It is especially wrong to assume this considering many of us studied Anthroposophy and some(not me) of us were even Waldorf teachers.
And then to be labeled negative as well!
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#357 of 1201 Old 10-18-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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Thanks for the support bean and jalilah. I was in the mode of feeling a bit tired of some of the ideas floating around in the "blame the victim" mode, ie you didn't somehow do/learn/explore enough. I don't take that lightly because I think that in many ways that blaming trickles down to the children when difficulties arise, whether social or educational.
Have a great day!
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#358 of 1201 Old 10-19-2007, 01:08 AM
 
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Hi everyone
Karne I really appreciate what you said about blaming the victim--I think that is so true. I think that is the difficulty alot of people have with us that have had problems at WE. It is kind of like -if I acknowledge that this system is supporting bullying, etc. than I have to acknowledge my part in it.. I want to say that I have several friends who are Waldorf Trained teachers -and I love them dearly-I DO NOT think they are evil- however some schools are so desperate they will take any new teacher because they have to. And some teachers are not as good as others..And Bean I appreciate your words about my posts--I sometimes feel so excited that I am talking with others that have experienced what I have-- I get a little wacky! I truly hope for the best for all of you...:
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#359 of 1201 Old 10-19-2007, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah. That used to get under my skin more than anything. "Blame the victim", etc. etc.

But now I view the "blame the victim" attitude to be displayed by the people in my former waldorf community who were the most emotionally needy.

Being emotionally needy does not always manifest itself as demure, passive, quiet behavior, it can manifest itself in quite aggressive behavior, because the person so desperately needs things to be a certain way.

The people I felt were this way in my old waldorf school were willing to place blame wherever they had to in order to maintain their fragile bubble, insulating themselves. Again I say that bubble was so fragile they spent enormous amounts of energy, exhausting themselves to gossip, bully, blame, and judge others who were questioning reality in the school community.

Don't read things if they drain you. Be aware of little things associated with waldorf that drain your positive energy throughout the day, and veer away from those things.

Feel sorry for these people, Mamas (Man that can be SO HARD TO DO!)

Here's a (former) private affirmation I used to say and still say sometimes (albeit corny as he//). I say:

Dear fellow Human,

I am so sorry you are in such a vulnerable place.

May you wake up and recognize the hurt you are doing by living in denial of the abuse taking place around you.

Understand that you are NOT permitted to place your blame or any negative energy whatsoever on me and my children.

We have stepped out of your circle and are protected from your blame by the very spiritual beings you claim to honor.

Bean

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Originally Posted by jalilah View Post
You have amde some very good points Karne,

Very true!
Yes this amazes me and hurts me too when hear (or read it in the other forum) that people who have problems with Waldorf are "not informed". It is especially wrong to assume this considering many of us studied Anthroposophy and some(not me) of us were even Waldorf teachers.
And then to be labeled negative as well!
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post
Thanks for the support bean and jalilah. I was in the mode of feeling a bit tired of some of the ideas floating around in the "blame the victim" mode, ie you didn't somehow do/learn/explore enough. I don't take that lightly because I think that in many ways that blaming trickles down to the children when difficulties arise, whether social or educational.
Have a great day!
Quote:
Originally Posted by capricorngirl View Post
Hi everyone
Karne I really appreciate what you said about blaming the victim--I think that is so true. I think that is the difficulty alot of people have with us that have had problems at WE. It is kind of like -if I acknowledge that this system is supporting bullying, etc. than I have to acknowledge my part in it.. I want to say that I have several friends who are Waldorf Trained teachers -and I love them dearly-I DO NOT think they are evil- however some schools are so desperate they will take any new teacher because they have to. And some teachers are not as good as others..And Bean I appreciate your words about my posts--I sometimes feel so excited that I am talking with others that have experienced what I have-- I get a little wacky! I truly hope for the best for all of you...:
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#360 of 1201 Old 10-20-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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I'm technically challenged and can't firgure out how to quote Bean's last thing about being emotionally needy. You hit the nail right on the head. Waldorf doesn't support strong healthy individuals. Please feel free to pat yourselves on the backs, because you had the courage to leave.
They may make claims that they are all about family, community, etc... At our school they were all about telling you what to do, how to do and when. I never felt more alone when I sent my dd there. Communication was non-existent when there was a problem with what they were telling you and your opinion differed.
A few years ago a gentleman came to give a talk of why bullying was out of hand in today's society. He went on to say it was a right of passage and that the victim was partially to blame. Which never really sat well with me. I felt it was a way to pass off the real problems and redirect what the issues. Let's look at the kids who aren't fitting in and blame them.
Everyday I'm sooo THANKFUL we left and hope that others who are in the same boat as we were, will have the courage to do the same. We still have our rough times with my dd but it's not like the constant cloud of doom I felt every day when she was at school. I was very nervous and would jump when the phone rang.
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