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Old 03-06-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SagMom View Post
Well, no, I don't think so. TCS and CL apply to all aspects of life and all kinds of relationships. RU would apply to the parent/child relationship--unless you're unschooling someone else? .




The GD forum is full of people sharing ideas about consequences and rewards and punishments and "getting" children to do things they don't really want to do. That's why I noted, "from what I've read on mdc." Personally, *I* don't find those kinds of things gentle, but that's just my definition.
I think I keep getting confused over all of these philosophies . . .

As for the GD forum here, I haven't gotten the same vibe as you have, but maybe I just tune those threads out.

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Old 03-06-2008, 11:45 PM
 
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ok, i tried to break it up a bit. i wrote it as one free flowing idea so i'm sorry if it's disjointed.
Thanks I really appreciated that and they were really interesting points.

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What is TJed?
TJ Ed is Thomas Jefferson Education a very eclectic homeschooling model that emphasizes not rushing academics in the "love to learn" phase of early childhood and then follows up with emphasis on the classics and leadership education for older children. Very interesting reading if you find any of the literature. It is embraced by a lot of the mormon homeschooling families. I think its founder is in Utah and in fact Mormon, but is not exclusive to the religion. Its one of the more "academic" homeschool movements that I don't mind so much because the kids don't get forced in academics to young, even reading and then don't get things like grades etc. They get verbal input from a mentor. Think of how the founding fathers were educated in those days.



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I'm just merely trying to make connections and understand the differences between the myriad of labels that is the world of MDC.
For many of us, perhaps in certain regional areas, this is very real life stuff too, in fact it affects me more IRL than here on MDC, as you can see member since 2004, less than 100 posts!
:

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I don't identify as RU, but I am an unschooler, and I do try to be as gentle/flexible/non-coercive as I can . . . and the slide situation would not fly around here.

I would probably say, "hey, DS, you're being rude. What's going on? Are you feeling frustrated? If you need some sapce right now, this is not the spot for it....
:

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Wow, I started off reading this thread thinking, "Hey, wait a second.. this is my goal, too!" I was confused about the RU families I had met in real life not meshing with what everyone was saying, but figured that these families were just taking a cop out to parenting. The ideals totally appeal to me - being respectful of my children, treating them as people, accepting them for who they are, etc.

But, honestly, after reading it all, I don't know if I could be wholly RU, unless I'm missing something.
Same with me, I've read it all, and I think I know now....


We are not Radical Unschoolers.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:39 AM
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And we have STRONGLY modeled and taught the children about thinking of others-- we talk about that all the time-- life is all about thinking of others, helping others, being a big helper, etc etc. I believe this is the key to happiness, and that it is my duty to pass on this undertsanding to my children.
I do this too!

I think RU looks very different in the life of a 3 year old and for a 9 year old.


For me it´s a journey. One that is constantly challenged by my ds´s knowledge, development, mood etc -- as well as my own personal journey. I am trying to keep an open mind as to how to deal with stuff -- I try to not go on auto-pilot, because then it´s far too easy to fall into the trap of doing *what was done to me*.
But I have had days when I don´t cope well, when I have broken a remote control, flung a stick across the room. It happens rarely, but most importantly afterwards I talk to ds about how this is *my* issue, not his. It´s not his fault.
This is me not being able to cope with the situation ...because of whatever. We talk about how it´s difficult to *undo* ways of doing stuff that goes way back to when *I* was a child.
Above all - I try to be authentic.

I don´t think I was *allowed* to be as angry as I wanted when I was a child.
Now, I think anger as an emotion is as valid as happiness -- or any other emotion for that matter. But - one is more comfortable and for sure we strive for happiness more. But they are both an integral part of life and living.
Imho Medicating - whether with flower remedies, herbs or allopathic meds - for *normal* emotions is counter productive.


What *I* hopefully modeled to my ds at the slide was that I care about him regardless of what he does - hence I care about other people. He is after all another person from me.
I truly believe that when I show empathy for my ds in a difficult situation like at the slide, *that* is what he will bring with him in life -- not the particular details of the slide incident.

I also think it´s a good quality to model standing for what you believe in, rather than doing stuff to *please a crowd*.
Emergency situations are always slightly different imo - even though my underlying aim is the same. Empathy, compassion, care, love...

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And if he pulled away his hand, I would say sharply, "Hey, buddy, you're being a butt." (This if he was a nine-year-old! ) And that's where I would coerce him in whatever means was necessary.
"Hey, buddy, you're being a butt." (This if he was a nine-year-old! ) And that's where I would coerce him in whatever means was necessary.
If someone said that to 40 year old me, I would find that pretty disrespectful. Same goes for my 9 year old, a 3 year old, my dh or an 80 year old.

Taken from a wonderful article on naturalchild:
The Power of The Language of Acceptance, by Dr. Thomas Gordon

"These messages tell a child that his feelings or needs are not important; he must comply with what his parent feels or needs."
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:25 AM
 
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I think I keep getting confused over all of these philosophies . . .
Yeah, it's a lot of info to sort out. I think it's interesting to read about, thought provoking, fun to discuss. But irl, I don't know anyone who uses these labels. We all just do what we do. Online, I think people use labels as a starting point. "I'm AP" or "I'm RU" or "We homeschool" gives some sort of base for connection. But there are lots of individual variations too of course.

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Old 03-07-2008, 10:38 AM
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Yeah, it's a lot of info to sort out. I think it's interesting to read about, thought provoking, fun to discuss. But irl, I don't know anyone who uses these labels. We all just do what we do. Online, I think people use labels as a starting point. "I'm AP" or "I'm RU" or "We homeschool" gives some sort of base for connection. But there are lots of individual variations too of course.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:05 PM
 
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Thanks for this thread. It's helped clarify things for me a bit. The IRL RU's I know are very kind, empathic folks who have some "in our family" kind of agreements that look a lot like rules sometimes, but are not experienced that way by the family itself.

But I would handle pia's slide situation very differently. Mine are 7 and 3...if one of them plunked themselves on the end of a slide while littler kids were trying to use it and told me they would be willing to move in 10 minutes, I would express that I thought it was rude to the other kids who were trying to slide when there were other alternatives available for sitting. I would request that they move now, rather than ask if they were willing to. I would let them know that I was not comfortable cooperating with them blocking the slide.

I would have asked the people talking to him to back up and give us a minute, that we were working on it. I would have told the person offering to call the cops that it was certainly his right to do that, but could he do that after he backed up and gave us a minute.

I would have squatted down in front of my child to talk to her.

And honestly, if I was sitting on the entrance ramp of the highway or blocking the escalator at a mall or otherwise obstructing strangers from going about their business, I would not take it amiss if a loved one of mine mentioned that I was being a butt. :P)
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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And honestly, if I was sitting on the entrance ramp of the highway or blocking the escalator at a mall or otherwise obstructing strangers from going about their business, I would not take it amiss if a loved one of mine mentioned that I was being a butt. :P)


The "butt" comment wouldn't bother me, but would bother dd. She would dissolve into tears. So I would never say that to her, but dh could say it to me and I would "get" it. So I can see both sides

This has been a great thread!
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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Well, no, I don't think so. TCS and CL apply to all aspects of life and all kinds of relationships. RU would apply to the parent/child relationship--unless you're unschooling someone else? .


I believe that RU and TCS are "educational" philosophies. RU extends the trust of a child to learn, to other environments beyond academics. TCS does so also, with a focus on not coercing children, in any environment.

Per my understanding, TCS philosophy embraces not coercing one's children, or other children; non-coercion does not extend to non-children.

CL is related to finding solutions with all folks, in every interaction, which are mutually agreeable. It isn't focused on 'not coercing', or related to education, or only children.




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Old 03-07-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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Thank you Kara, I needed that!

I'll just chime in with, I would be concerned with my son stopped in the slide. Concern that he was not hurt, concern that he was feeling ok, concern that he was upset, concern that he was not dizzy, nauseaus, scared, etc. etc. I would have stopped in front of the slide and talked calmly with him, basically addressing my concern to the child. Thanking the folks for their patience, just as I would for any other issue that he had regarding needing to be exactly where he was at the moment.

There is no "force" involved in blocking the slide. The folks are free to go wherever they wish. Most would choose not to plow through him, while he is sitting there. I hope.

I would much prefer to model patient and compassionate attendance to a child stopped in a slide, than to have our son parrot screaming at the child, threatening a child, etc. If ds were to want a child to move from the slide, I hope he doesn't follow the examples that the other parents modeled. Children learn what we model. That is the whole premise of RU, imo.



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Old 03-07-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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Per my understanding, TCS philosophy embraces not coercing one's children, or other children; non-coercion does not extend to non-children.

Pat
You're certainly not alone in thinking that. But I have a different take on it--while not coercing children, the adults (according to tcs) are not expected to become martyrs. The idea is to find "common preferences." (And this is where I don't see a difference between TCS and CL.) So, in my thinking, neither the parent nor the child is to be coerced.

When I was on the tcs list, this was discussed regularly, but it's been a number of years now. Probably, it's still being discussed.

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Old 03-07-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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The folks are free to go wherever they wish.
Well, except down the slide.
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:42 PM
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When were you on the list? I was there during the mid-nineties... I think I left in 1998?

My understanding is that non-coercion is extended to one's own children (and adult family members as well, if you chose to live that way) but not necessarily to people outside of that. Practicing non-coercion with everyone in the world (including other children) would seem to require self-coercion, since the other people wouldn't also be trying to find mutually agreeable solutions. I see that as the key difference between CL and TCS...

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Old 03-07-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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I do this too!

I think RU looks very different in the life of a 3 year old and for a 9 year old.
I'm sure that's quite right.

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I don´t think I was *allowed* to be as angry as I wanted when I was a child.
Now, I think anger as an emotion is as valid as happiness -- or any other emotion for that matter. But - one is more comfortable and for sure we strive for happiness more. But they are both an integral part of life and living.
I think that anger needs to be embraced but not indulged. When anger is embraced and accepted, it can transform and growth occurs. When someone becomes stuck in their anger, and no growth occurs, they are left with a yucky feeling which results in physical manifestations of unwellness. Both the anger, and the state of anger, represent incorrect subconcious thought. If one had perpetually correct thought, one would never get angry (a sort of "zen" frame of mind.) Of course that never happens! But there is nothing wron in persuing growth to achieve that-- it makes for a more peaceful, satisfying, and enjoyable life. (I love the book, "Feelings Buried Alive Never Die" and I highly recommend it to everyone. )

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Imho Medicating - whether with flower remedies, herbs or allopathic meds - for *normal* emotions is counter productive.
I don't think you understand at all what flower essences actually do or how they work. They don't "make" you feel differently. They open up your energy. Negative feelings are totally valid and wonderful, they function in the same way physical pain does-- to show us where we are "off" homeostasis. This is where growth and detoxing occurs! This is why negative sensations and emotions can be so useful. This is why I try to embrace them. I highly recommend trying flower essences. There is a great thread in the Spirituality forum right now about flower essences and homeopathy (they work in a very similar way.)

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I truly believe that when I show empathy for my ds in a difficult situation like at the slide, *that* is what he will bring with him in life -- not the particular details of the slide incident.
I agree with this. I believe my son will model to others the way I treat him. But I also believe that I need to model to him appropriate boundaries. If I were to give in to him at a time when it meant compromising MY principles to satsify his desires, I am modeling the behavior of a doormat-- someone with poor self-esteem and poor boundaries. I believe that I need to model to him that it's okay to have boundaries-- after all, I don't want him to grow up to either BE a doormat or choose a partner who acts like a doormat, because he thinks from the parental relationship that it's okay to let people take advantage of you.

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I also think it´s a good quality to model standing for what you believe in, rather than doing stuff to *please a crowd*.
I understand this-- I also want the same thing for my son, absolutely. But to me, the times when I want to stand up to the "crowd" are when my principles would be compromised by giving in. I don't want to model to my son that we never take stranger's needs into consideration. Yes, he had a need to sit there, but the other child had just as valid of a need to go down the slide.
Sometimes people have different needs which conflict, it happens. This creates a moral dilemma. Giving up one's own desires isn't "giving in to pressure", it's showing compassion and maturity. The fact that he can't see this doesn't mean he's a bad kid, it just shows a lack of maturity and a lack of empathy for others (which is a facet of maturity).

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If someone said that to 40 year old me, I would find that pretty disrespectful. Same goes for my 9 year old, a 3 year old, my dh or an 80 year old.
I understand. It is kind of disrespectful. But my dh and I talk to each other that way from time to time, only if we're really acting jerk-y, which happens ocassionally when we're tired, stressed, or grouchy. It's a signal which says, "Hey, you've just crossed a line into "unacceptable territory." Is there a better way to phrase it? No doubt. But I was being honest-- that's honestly what I would say if my son were 9 and in that situation. And I totally believe in being honest and forthright with my children.

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Taken from a wonderful article on naturalchild:
The Power of The Language of Acceptance, by Dr. Thomas Gordon

"These messages tell a child that his feelings or needs are not important; he must comply with what his parent feels or needs."
In this situation, yes, I'm letting him know that his needs are not as important as the little child who needs to go down the slide, that's correct. And I'm okay with that. His needs do not always trump anyone else's needs. Soemtimes there is a conflict of desires, and in some situaitons, the right thing to do is to put others needs ahead of your own momentarily. Children need us to show them these boundaries so that they can learn maturity by seeing it modeled.

Do you only have one son? Because I have two. I find myself wondering what you would do if your older son were mistreating or bullying your younger son?

BTW, I tend to say thing pretty boldly and plainly, but I don't mean anything personally. I engage in discussions because it is interesting and I learn from it, but never to make anyone feel bad. I may disagree with some of your methods and philosophies of parenting but I still think you're a wonderful mother. thank you for responding to my post.

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Old 03-07-2008, 07:45 PM
 
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When were you on the list? I was there during the mid-nineties... I think I left in 1998?
Oh, gosh...let's see...I found the list while searching for a better way to be with dd. She must have been about 3 at the time...so...'97 or so.

Ds1 was (is) so easy-going that finding ways for us both to be happy came easily.

Then dd, my fireball, came along. We were butting heads a lot and I hated that I couldn't seem to get it right with her. That list really helped me to see where I was stuck in my thinking (I was holding on to memes I didn't even know I had ) I thought I'd been good at problem solving, but this opened up a lot more to me.

I wasn't there long, less than a year and mostly I lurked. It was interesting, but super-high volume and I just couldn't keep up. (Which has nothing to do with this thread...)


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Practicing non-coercion with everyone in the world (including other children) would seem to require self-coercion, since the other people wouldn't also be trying to find mutually agreeable solutions. I see that as the key difference between CL and TCS...

Dar
Okay, yeah, you're right, this makes a lot of sense.

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Old 03-07-2008, 08:24 PM
 
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Do you only have one son? Because I have two. I find myself wondering what you would do if your older son were mistreating or bullying your younger son?
I just posted this on the Radical Unschooling list a day or so ago about this type of issue between friends.

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Assume positive intent. I believe the child is being curious, exploring and unaware of the *impact* of his words (or actions) and is a little scientist discovering 'what happens when I say xyz'. OUR reactions give the power to the words. It is the same as when the child says "shit". If we go all crazy about it... Wow! Exciting new thing to say!! So, they do "trial and error" exploration. When I say xyz to my mom, I get reaction abc. When guy A says/does xyz to the other boy, the friends laugh, the boy cries. Hmmm...different data points. More exploration required. When I say/do xyz to my sister, sister is oblivious and mama says abc. When I say/do xyz to my friend, one friend laughs and the other friend does what??

Exploring is different than "bullying". The negative connotation doesn't help to resolve the underlying issue, ime.

When we give it the power of "bullying", they try it on further. When we validate their underlying needs for information, acknowledgment, attention, praise, etc., the need for 'pushing others down to get ahead' becomes less necessary. The context of our culture, however, is competitive. One wins. Others lose. Shifting that cultural meme to win-win happens in the context of experiencing frequent and repetitive win-win solutions. That can be nurtured at home through our modeling.

My first thought is not to put my "stuff" into it; and just be present for what he expresses. Validate that and reflect back how he feels. Offering choices which allow him to see the options beyond "play and not be happy" or "not play". Perhaps, restate/redirect what the other child is saying/doing in a more gentle way, less impactful way. Projecting "bullying" upon children is not necessary, and feeds experimentation and exploration of the *power* with it, imo. Empowering the child to choose to engage, or to find some place else to play, or to seek facilitation can be modeled, ime. I find that to escalate a situation by bringing the defensive energy of victim/bully is disempowering. And takes energy away from addressing the underlying issue.

There is a book "Bully, Bullied and Bystander", which explores the feelings of the bully and what provokes the behaviors. http://www.amazon.com/Bully-Bullied-.../dp/006001430X Basically, it sounds like the boy is seeking to feel *more* about his self. By *giving* him the emotional acknowledgment that he is seeking, he doesn't need to push someone else down (figuratively or literally) to get it. Modeling this as addressing the friend's (or sibling's) needs, provides a template for ds to see how he could be empowered while playing.

I try to facilitate the interactions for shared success and enjoyment. Oftentimes, the underlying issue is hunger. So, if I hear some of that energy change from cooperative to conflict, I'll bring out some snacks. Or redirect to another fun activity.

The other thing, is that the behavior has been observed and it is how children "work out" what to do when the parent isn't available. By offering alternative responses such as neutrally restating 'you think ds is the world's worst xyz' without giving it power, does have an empowering sense, ime. Kinda like if someone said to me 'nursing beyond infancy is gross'. I think "whatever". And don't project a need to defend my alternate opinion.

Sometimes we learn most from people who do things differently than we prefer. Your son may be interested in observing these different "data points" and how he feels, irrelevant of our own emotional experience of it.
Here is an older thread about "bullying". It discusses the underlying needs of a child who is "bullying" and how to facilitate their social interactions. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ighlight=bully


About a year ago, I actually observed a girl about age 10-11ish, at the playground who was sitting at the top of the slide, blocking the way down. She was bored? angry? sad? powerless? resentful? I have no idea, she was a complete stranger. The other children wanted to go down. I merely acknowledged and validated her with observations. 'You want to block the slide?' She nodded yes. 'You don't want the other children to use the slide?' She shook her head no. I reflected 'It doesn't look like you are having fun. Do you want the other children not to have fun either?' And she slid down the slide.

She was there with a group of young children. Maybe an after-school thing. She didn't seem to want to be there and had no say?? The point is, there are reasons that people do things. Energetically labeling them as "bullying" doesn't help them to feel more compassionate toward others, ime.


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Old 03-07-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing, that's very interesting, Pat.

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Old 03-07-2008, 10:33 PM
 
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I'll just chime in with, I would be concerned with my son stopped in the slide. Concern that he was not hurt, concern that he was feeling ok, concern that he was upset, concern that he was not dizzy, nauseaus, scared, etc. etc. I would have stopped in front of the slide and talked calmly with him, basically addressing my concern to the child. Thanking the folks for their patience, just as I would for any other issue that he had regarding needing to be exactly where he was at the moment.

There is no "force" involved in blocking the slide. The folks are free to go wherever they wish. Most would choose not to plow through him, while he is sitting there. I hope.

I would much prefer to model patient and compassionate attendance to a child stopped in a slide, than to have our son parrot screaming at the child, threatening a child, etc. If ds were to want a child to move from the slide, I hope he doesn't follow the examples that the other parents modeled. Children learn what we model. That is the whole premise of RU, imo.

Pat
hi Pat

I just wanted to say that this really resonated with me. I've been reading this thread and philosophically (as well as maternally) feeling totally torn by the slide example. Your viewpoint really helped me process how I was feeling. I do understand all of the differing povs expressed in this thread, but yours feels totally right to me.

Jenniey

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Old 03-08-2008, 06:20 AM
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Do you only have one son? Because I have two. I find myself wondering what you would do if your older son were mistreating or bullying your younger son?
(My bolding) On the slide, I don´t see my ds bullying or mistreating anyone. Just in case you were referring to that incident if I were to have 2 children.

I do have only one ds, but I would strive to have the same outlook on conflict that I have now if that were to change.

I do try to see that there is always two sides to a case.

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BTW, I tend to say thing pretty boldly and plainly, but I don't mean anything personally. I engage in discussions because it is interesting and I learn from it, but never to make anyone feel bad. I may disagree with some of your methods and philosophies of parenting but I still think you're a wonderful mother. thank you for responding to my post.
I´m not sure there is any point to quote your whole post and reply to everything. We disagree on some stuff. That´s ok.
I do appreciate your kind words above.


Pat, thank you for your wise insight. Your posts always resonate strongly with me.

Assuming positive intent. To me that is so important!
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:32 PM
 
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I guess it's the abundant use of labels and sub-labels that bothers me the most.
Liberal>AP>Homeschooler>Unschooler>Radical Unschooler.....

We seem intent on dividing and labeling and segregating ourselves to the point of being alone. I originally came to this place for support and communication with other parents/caregivers who share the AP philosophy. It's great to have so much diversity within a large group but it seems like everyone is constantly trying to label, define and segregate themselves and each other and that feels anything but supportive
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:44 PM
 
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... it seems like everyone is constantly trying to label, define and segregate themselves and each other and that feels anything but supportive
The way I see it is that some threads are for chit chat, some are for information, and some are for discussion. Personally, I have no interest in separating people out, and I don't really care what anyone considers themselves--(what difference would it possibly make to my life what a bunch of strangers on the internet call themselves? ) But, I do find it interesting to delve into the different philosophies of learning and parenting and see where they differ and where they're the same, how the philosophies translate to day to day actions and

Sometimes I feel like there should be some disclaimer at the top of these kinds of discussions so that people don't take them so personally.

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)  luxlove.gif and dog2.gif.

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Old 03-08-2008, 09:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SagMom View Post
The way I see it is that some threads are for chit chat, some are for information, and some are for discussion. Personally, I have no interest in separating people out, and I don't really care what anyone considers themselves--(what difference would it possibly make to my life what a bunch of strangers on the internet call themselves? ) But, I do find it interesting to delve into the different philosophies of learning and parenting and see where they differ and where they're the same, how the philosophies translate to day to day actions and

Sometimes I feel like there should be some disclaimer at the top of these kinds of discussions so that people don't take them so personally.
I completely agree with this. I find talk about these lables is intersting and helpful.
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SagMom View Post
The way I see it is that some threads are for chit chat, some are for information, and some are for discussion. ...............

............ But, I do find it interesting to delve into the different philosophies of learning and parenting and see where they differ and where they're the same, how the philosophies translate to day to day actions and

I totally agree with all of that. I think these types of threads are a wonderful way to talk about how we all approach the unschooling way of life.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
peace.gif  Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!    
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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i too, agree.

it is fun and informative and helpful. there are support threads, and there are discussion threads. i think, if this were a support thread, the posts would be much less about how we are all different, and much more about how we are all the same.

Jennie Young

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