Unschoolers ~ Is it ever ok to impose your will? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 51 Old 10-30-2007, 11:37 PM
 
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Is it the parent's role to direct a child's "karma"?
Edited to clarify:

I can't "direct" my child's karma (or my own), as much of it is the result of things they did in their past lives. However, yes, I can try to help them minimize the accumulation of further negative karma by not habituating them to nonvirtuous actions (and "nonvirtuous" is a Buddhist term, not my own choice of judgemental words).

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#32 of 51 Old 10-30-2007, 11:40 PM
 
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Marine Wife, one thing I do with my kids is, if they want something that I feel conflicts with my values, I explain to them why I don't think that particular product is a good purchase. I try to help them find a more suitable alternative, and I kick in as much money as I can to make up any difference in cost for a more quality (in all respects) product. But as funds are limited, it does end up that I have to say no sometimes when the quality alternative is simply out of reach financially. However, I think my kids learn two things: I do take their desires seriously, and there are limitations to what they can have (for many reasons, not just financial.

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#33 of 51 Old 10-30-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
People can't direct karma.

dm
Thanks, I don't really "know" how that all is experienced. Is there an attachment to directing the child's "habituation"? For what outcome? I am genuinely curious. Can one direct their own karma??

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#34 of 51 Old 10-30-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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Thanks, I don't really "know" how that all is experienced. Is there an attachment to directing the child's "habituation"? For what outcome? I am genuinely curious. Can one direct their own karma??

Pat
I edited my previous post to explain further, but I'll try to answer your questions as best I can. Keep in mind that I am not a Buddhist scholar. For the best answer, I'd direct you to a qualified Tibetan lama.

The goal of Tibetan Buddhists is to become a Bodhisattva, a being who has achieved enlightenment but has chosen to remain in Samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth, to help all others achieve liberation and enlightenment.

So yes, in some way there is an attachment to directing a child's habituation. It is the compassion that compels Bodhisattvas to assist others in their own liberation.

I am probably not a Bodhisattva, but I have taken the Bodhisattva vows, which means I am an "aspiring Bodhisattva."

I cannot direct my own karma. It will ripen according to the causes and effects that created it. (Contrary to popular belief, btw, karma is not a big ledger where you get brownie points for good deeds and black marks for bad ones. Karma is merely cause and effect at work.) I can, however, work to minimize my accumulation of more negative karma by avoiding the aforementioned "nonvirtuous actions." However, should I accidentally create negative karma anyway (which I do all day long, every day, because I am a very poor Buddhist ), I can't control how that karma will ripen.

HTH.

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#35 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 10:39 AM
 
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Toy store browsing is pretty dangerous. Although, we have gone to look for fun, and with agreement that we were just going to windowshop.
I don't usually go to toy stores with my 3yo, but when we go to Target, I usually let her pick out some obnoxious electronic toy and let her play with it while shopping, and she invariably tires of it before we're done. So she gets to see how uninteresting they really are(demo modes are rather limited ), and I get some shopping time. So these toys never end up going home with us, and half the time she tells me to put it back!

Plus we spend plenty of time just window shopping(more like clearance rack shopping), so she knows that not every time we go shopping do we actually buy.
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#36 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I do now see the value of the Pokemon game that I did not see before because I got so caught up in the anti-hype, if you will. That's my regret. Live and learn. I do not want to do that to the rest of my children. I do see my ds incorporating TV shows that he watches into his own creative play. I also see him use various household items in ways they were not intended and I find that very cool. I like the idea of going to second hand stores if I'm purposely taking my ds to buy a toy.

Unfortunately, right now I don't have any choice about whether or not to take him with me to the store that sells toys when I need to get something else. I'm the only adult home right now so my ds has to go on all those errands with me. I don't always buy him something, either. Most of the time we just look for a little bit. I tell him I'm not going to buy him anything and he's fine with that. So, it's not an issue of him getting upset every time we go out because he doesn't get something. It's an issue of, when I do agree to get him something, reconciling respecting his wants with my values, if that makes any sense.

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#37 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 12:07 PM
 
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My friend does almost all of her toy shopping online. She hates going to stores. Then the stuff is delivered directly to her house. No parking, no impulse buys, no hassles, no waiting in line. I'm too "old school" and have to see, touch, feel, handle whatever I want to buy before making a decision.


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#38 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 12:25 PM
 
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Personally, I think there is a place for 'junk' and 'education' in every person's life. I don't think we should always be so quick to say what is junk and what is educational. I think there is room for both, and sometimes they can't be separated. I know lots of wonderfu, sweet, intelligent, respected children who have some pretty 'junky' toys.
I found myself exhaling when I read this - hadn't even realized I'd been holding my breath till then. I recently had a conversation with other parents of grown children in which we all agreed that if we had it to do over again, we'd be a lot less obsessive about little things like this, and not make them our children's problem. I think maybe that's why some grandparents tend to be so much more permissive - they've already erred on the side of over-control.
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#39 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 12:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
You might want to do a little bit of reading on the subject of unschooling! There are tons of threads here, and quite a bit of info on google and the like.
As a matter of fact, I just made a list of many of the MDC thread links for another post. I'd organized all my browser bookmarks a few days ago, so it was a piece o' cake: "How do you unschool?"

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#40 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lillian ~ I think that's where I am with my younger kids. Since I have a teenager I can see how all my obsessing about every little thing when he was younger caused problems, maybe even the same problems that I was trying to avoid. Most of my IRL friends who all only have younger kids, under 5, haven't been there yet so they're still obsessing. I guess I haven't gotten to the point where I'm completely comfortable with it yet because sometimes their comments about stuff like Spongebob or TV watching make me question myself. I need to get to the point where I can be totally comfortable with what I feel is right for us.

Pat ~ I prefer to do my shopping online. I hate to go to stores and then have to unload the car when I get home. I love that I can get things delivered right to my house. Sometimes I still think it'll be quicker or easier or cheaper if I go to a local store. Almost invariably, though, I can't find what I was looking for and go home empty handed. That's actually what happened with the shopping trip that brought all this toy stuff up for me. I went to Target and to the Geoffrey store looking for long sleeved onesies, a gate for my stairs and a wipes warmer. The only thing I found worth buying were the onesies. I decided against the gate for now (again) and couldn't find the type of wipes warmer I wanted. So, now it's on to surfing the web to find what I need. You'd think I'd learn not to even bother going anywhere.

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#41 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 12:51 PM
 
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I do now see the value of the Pokemon game that I did not see before because I got so caught up in the anti-hype, if you will. That's my regret. Live and learn. I do not want to do that to the rest of my children. I do see my ds incorporating TV shows that he watches into his own creative play. I also see him use various household items in ways they were not intended and I find that very cool. I like the idea of going to second hand stores if I'm purposely taking my ds to buy a toy.

Unfortunately, right now I don't have any choice about whether or not to take him with me to the store that sells toys when I need to get something else. I'm the only adult home right now so my ds has to go on all those errands with me. I don't always buy him something, either. Most of the time we just look for a little bit. I tell him I'm not going to buy him anything and he's fine with that. So, it's not an issue of him getting upset every time we go out because he doesn't get something. It's an issue of, when I do agree to get him something, reconciling respecting his wants with my values, if that makes any sense.
It makes sense. We are always evolving. I do remember feeling a bit freaky in my waldorf playgroup for 'allowing' my child his Star Wars legos. I was very concerned about violent toys and I struggled with it at first. My dh was much more relaxed. He grew up as a boy, with some boy things and he loved certain kinds of play, yet he was a thoughtful, gentle adult. My ds also grew into the kind and thoughtful young man I always knew he would be. He was free to play, free to choose, respected in those choices.

Despite pressure from the playgroup, I absolutely felt uncomfortable directing my child's play. I wasn't worried about him becoming a violent person-- I could see my homebirthed, EBF, family bedded child was a dear. I was able to seal myself from what I saw as hysteria about getting into a child's face wrt to play. We actually stopped going to playgroup at one home (my oldest was about 6 at the time, and we were involved in an off-shoot grouping that came about from our LLL meetings) when the parent told the children they could not play 'monster' at her house becuase it was too scary and violent. The children were not harming each other, and it wasn't the least bit dangerous. That was just so over the top for me. I could not see forbidding play the children themselves created.

I think it's wonderful you are thinking about this. It's a great topic, imo.
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#42 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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I always envisioned (pre-kids) that MY children would not even know what a gun was - they would be busy all the time in the garden, where they would make wood nymphs from acorns and vines. While eating kashi. And groats.

Then an older neighbor kid (who both my kids adore) gave ds1 a hand grenade for his 3nd birthday. : I was so conflicted and stressed about it, but I let them play with it, and with the piles of other weaponry that this boy introduced to them, and as I watched them play I realized that the neighbor kid (though completely obsessed with war and fighting) was the sweetest, kindest kid I had ever met! : I'm certainly not saying that the weapon/war play MADE him that way, but obviously it didn't hurt him either...

Here's a funny story, though - one day they were playing some war game (making a machine gun nest on the bed, I think it was), and DS2 (4yo at the time) mentioned a Tom and Jerry cartoon that he had seen. Jeb (neighbor boy) looked up at me, shocked! Scratched the side of his face with a Bowie knife, and said, "You really shouldn't let them watch that - it's VERY violent!"

Ok, so I "let" them play this stuff, but at the same time I struggle with the same questions that the OP has. I will not buy them guns, and I don't let them spend their money on them. I also tell them that I won't play war stuff with them because "I don't like it." But I don't always feel like that's the best approach, and I do worry about the message that I'm sending...
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#43 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 04:22 PM
 
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He grew up as a boy, with some boy things and he loved certain kinds of play, yet he was a thoughtful, gentle adult. My ds also grew into the kind and thoughtful young man I always knew he would be. He was free to play, free to choose, respected in those choices.
And it's my own humble opinion that he might not have grown up to be such a thoughtful, gentle adult if he hadn't had so much respect and freedom as a growing child!

Children Learn What They Live

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#44 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 04:23 PM
 
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I always envisioned (pre-kids) that MY children would not even know what a gun was - they would be busy all the time in the garden, where they would make wood nymphs from acorns and vines. While eating kashi. And groats. .
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#45 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I always envisioned (pre-kids) that MY children would not even know what a gun was - they would be busy all the time in the garden, where they would make wood nymphs from acorns and vines. While eating kashi. And groats.

Then an older neighbor kid (who both my kids adore) gave ds1 a hand grenade for his 3nd birthday. : I was so conflicted and stressed about it, but I let them play with it, and with the piles of other weaponry that this boy introduced to them, and as I watched them play I realized that the neighbor kid (though completely obsessed with war and fighting) was the sweetest, kindest kid I had ever met! : I'm certainly not saying that the weapon/war play MADE him that way, but obviously it didn't hurt him either...

Here's a funny story, though - one day they were playing some war game (making a machine gun nest on the bed, I think it was), and DS2 (4yo at the time) mentioned a Tom and Jerry cartoon that he had seen. Jeb (neighbor boy) looked up at me, shocked! Scratched the side of his face with a Bowie knife, and said, "You really shouldn't let them watch that - it's VERY violent!"

Ok, so I "let" them play this stuff, but at the same time I struggle with the same questions that the OP has. I will not buy them guns, and I don't let them spend their money on them. I also tell them that I won't play war stuff with them because "I don't like it." But I don't always feel like that's the best approach, and I do worry about the message that I'm sending...
I love this whole post. Don't we all have a fantasy about how our children will be and how we will "raise" them before we actually have them and reality sets in? My sis doesn't have kids yet and she likes to go on and on about how her children are going to be. I just smile and think to myself, "You have no idea." hehe

My dh carries a big gun for work. When we saw him off for his deployment he had that big gun strapped to his back. My 3yo ds was obsessed with daddy's big gun for so long afterward. It was very hard for me to express how I feel about guns to my ds without making daddy look bad.

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#46 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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I love this whole post. Don't we all have a fantasy about how our children will be and how we will "raise" them before we actually have them and reality sets in? My sis doesn't have kids yet and she likes to go on and on about how her children are going to be. I just smile and think to myself, "You have no idea." hehe
And this is often the case with homeschooling as well. People will think they know how they're going to do it from the time they're preganant or have babies or toddlers - as if they're the only ones who are involved in the dynamics. Funny thing is - you don't even necessarily know how it's going to be even after you've been doing it for a while - it keeps changing, fortunately, with the needs of the children themselves, rather than marching in step with the educational theories of the parents. Children have a way of making things get real. Lillian
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#47 of 51 Old 10-31-2007, 11:01 PM
 
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And it's my own humble opinion that he might not have grown up to be such a thoughtful, gentle adult if he hadn't had so much respect and freedom as a growing child!

Children Learn What They Live

Lillian
My MIL is a very wise woman. She has so much patience-- my dh is very much like her. She is a huge child advocate. I tell my dh I married him for his mother.
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#48 of 51 Old 11-01-2007, 04:55 AM
 
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I cannot direct my own karma. It will ripen according to the causes and effects that created it. (Contrary to popular belief, btw, karma is not a big ledger where you get brownie points for good deeds and black marks for bad ones. Karma is merely cause and effect at work.) I can, however, work to minimize my accumulation of more negative karma by avoiding the aforementioned "nonvirtuous actions." However, should I accidentally create negative karma anyway (which I do all day long, every day, because I am a very poor Buddhist ), I can't control how that karma will ripen.

I believe I can say ITA to all of that. Though my Buddhist path is not Tibetan, the core concepts are much the same.

I do try to balance it all out. I do not wish to accumulate more negative karma so I seek to be mindful of my thoughts, speech, and actions.(And I lose trackl, and I seek mindfulness again, and then I lose it a bit more...) Of course I share that with my children. Absolutely. But, no I can't choose their path for them. I suppose you could say that I shape it and act as a guide. Just someone who happens to have some notes after being around for a few years...

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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#49 of 51 Old 11-14-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#50 of 51 Old 11-14-2007, 07:31 PM
 
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What about grown up 'toys'? Computers, cars, ipods, and other things that harm the earth in their creation & non-biodegradeability, and very often have the same questionable human rights issues, yet we don't deny ourselves these things. We are quite quick to disrespect our kids desires, however. A car, even a hybrid, or a computer that keeps needing 'upgrades' is doing far more damage to the earth than any one child's 'junk toy'.
But my husband and I do, frequently. We have cars, yes, we need them, but we buy 99% of our clothes second hand and the rest are shoes made in the US and some things from CafePress that are sweatshop free. We will deny ourselves much for these human rights and environmental reasons. My MP3 player is second hand, as is my laptop.
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#51 of 51 Old 11-14-2007, 07:38 PM
 
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I will let them buy/buythem ( and DH and I ) things second hand that I would nev er buy new, becuase there are companies I just don't want to support.
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