A side note here, one of my fairly recent posts was a review of A.S. Neill’s book, Freedom-Not License and in that review I wrote down the following:
While this book echoes many of the sentiments and ideals expressed by people like Sandra Dodd, A. S. Neill’s philosophy is different in some ways. He definitely feels there is a line between allowing a child the freedom to be him/herself and being too permissive. Freedom is allowed as long as it doesn’t infringe upon anyone else’s rights and comforts. The example he gives is a child is allowed to play the trumpet but he is not allowed to play the trumpet at 4am when it would disturb the sleep of others. Also, at the Summerhill school, he says there are bedtimes that all the children agreed upon. They felt it was necessary in order to respect those people who are sleeping. This is one thing that I had a lot of trouble with when trying to follow Sandra Dodd and Rue Kream into the wonderful world of unschooling, as they believe that there should not be a bedtime established. My perspective on our life here is that the kids have to be in their room by a certain time, usually 9pm. Now, whether they go to sleep or not is totally up to them but I absolutely need time sans enfants with my husband.
After exchanging email with Rue Kream, she very kindly pointed out that her family is not a democratic society like Mr. Neill’s school but a FAMILY who love and respect each others needs, rights, and comforts. They take care to be sure everyone’s needs are met and that no one is infringing on anyone else, not by making rules, but just by living respectfully with one another and recognizing that everyone has needs that must be met. I apologize for misunderstanding what Rue said in her book. I’m still learning! In fact, I think we’re still deschooling. At any rate, thank you Rue for pointing that out to me. I really appreciated it!
The reason I was exchanging email with Rue in the first place was because I was requesting permission to reprint a list from the back of her book. It’s a list that every parent should read and is just one of four in her wonderful book, Parenting a Free Child: An Unschooled Life. The list is titled, Fifteen things I wish adults would not say to children and is as follows:
- Do you want a spanking?
- You’re ok.
- Don’t cry.
- You always ______.
- Good drawing/running/sharing/eating/etc.
- I’m disappointed in you.
- I don’t want to hear another word from you.
- Come now, or we’re leaving without you.
- Sit still.
- It’s for your own good.
- You have to eat your dinner or you can’t have dessert.
- You have to put that away before you take out something else.
- Don’t be a baby.
- If you’re not good, we’re not coming back here ever again.
Hmmm. Just looking over this list I know I’ve said a couple of these today. Have I mentioned how hard this is? 😉