Thursday, April 19, 2018

Defuse frustration

Joyce Fetteroll wrote:
Life *is* frustrating. Being mindful won't prevent kids from getting frustrated but it will be a huge step in the right direction. Seeing the world from kids' point of view will help you understand why they are reacting to the world as they are. Treat your kids as though they're doing the best they can with the knowledge and skills and understanding of the world they have. And often when they're at their worst, what works best is a hug.
—Joyce Fetteroll
SandraDodd.com/mindfulparenting
photo by Joshua Harkness

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Gently sweet, please

Don't anyone be mean to your kids today, please. There will be enough hurt without us adding to it.

SandraDodd.com/TinyMonsterscomment
photo by Sandra Dodd of younger Holly, in Driffield, East Yorkshire
A sweet repeat from April 2011.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Learning not to teach

For years I have recommended that new unschoolers stop using the word "teach" and replace all statements and thoughts with phrases using the word "learn" instead. I've gotten much flak back from people saying it doesn't matter, or that's "just semantics." What started as a theory with me became belief and then conviction. Unschoolers who cling to the idea of teaching will handicap their own understanding of how learning works.
SandraDodd.com/teaching
photo by Annie Regan

Monday, April 16, 2018

Euphoria and elation

The reason there was a hippie slogan in the late 1960's "If it feels good, do it" was that they grew up with parents and grandparents who had been told life wasn't about fun; comfort had to be earned; if it was easy, it was a sin; if it didn't taste bad, it wasn't good for you.

Those things are said to justify hardship, control, and deprivation. They're said to glorify sacrifice, discomfort, yucky medicine and bitter vegetables (which kids probably will like and choose when they're older if they're not forced to eat them as kids).

If something causes biochemical euphoria or elation, and if the goal is learning, and peace, seek that out. Pay extra for that. Clear your calendar to help your child obtain that.

SandraDodd.com/gettingwarm
photo by Amanda Gattis

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A long, quiet time

If your purpose is just to be with your child, and relaxed, and have a chance to talk, go with something that's non-verbal and takes a long, quiet time.
SandraDodd.com/truckcomments
photo by Holly Dodd

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Shapes and angles

The same image, or toy, or building can be seen in many different ways. For a toddler, this could be a triangle, with a circle, and a rectangle. It might remind an older child of stories of magic houses, or of mysteries and adventures. Young adults' thoughts could be all about traditional construction, history, or "Is this for rent?"

Angles are more than just mathematical or visual things.


SandraDodd.com/angles
photo by Ester Siroky

Friday, April 13, 2018

Find abundance

Neediness expresses itself differently with different kids. Abundance expresses itself similarly in all.

A family can learn to find abundance rather than lack, even if they're not wealthy.

SandraDodd.com/respect/dodd
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Free to behave nicely

My children are about as free as they're going to get, honestly. Always have been. Yet there are all these real-life limitations and considerations. They're free to ignore them. And the state of New Mexico (county of Bernalillo and City of Albuquerque) are not only free, but OBLIGATED, to protect other residents from any over-reaching acts of wild "freedom."
SandraDodd.com/freedom/
photo by Sandra Dodd, but in Maine, not New Mexico

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Gentle, thoughtful touch

Touch someone, or something, in a gentle, thoughtful way. Feel with your fingers, or cheek, or hand the warmth or smoothness or softness of something or someone you love.
SandraDodd.com/babies/infants
Keith, Kirby, Marty and baby Holly Dodd
November 1991

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Bring on the Joy


"Focus on Joy. Really. That's all I need to do right now. It's vacation time in my home...bring on the Joy."
—Angela (NYCitymomx3)
Fron a longer list at SandraDodd.com/howto/advice
photo by Jo Isaac

Monday, April 9, 2018

Stay here


Some people seem to think unschooling takes them through a portal to some alternate universe.

Stay in the real world! Both feet, directly, right in your house, in your town, in your country, in this moment on this day.
SandraDodd.com/unschoolworld
SandraDodd.com/being
photo by Janine Davies

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Helping

Joyce Fetteroll, small part of larger writing:
We can view children's needs as inconvenient for us or we can view them as people who need our help doing what they want to do.

          . . . .

We can be our kids partner in helping them get what they want in life or we can be the barrier that opens or closes according to our whim.
—Joyce Fetteroll

SandraDodd.com/yes
photo by Eva Witsel

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Surprise!

Life is richer when you are open to appreciating surprises.
Surprises and discoveries
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, April 6, 2018

Tales of "Oops"

Advising about an easily frustrated child, Brie Jontry wrote:

Talking about your own frustrations and talking through your own "mistakes," etc, in a light way—not *to* him, but around him, where he can hear you—might be helpful.

I did a lot of: "Ooops! I meant to cut the carrots length-wise instead of into circles. No big deal..." or "Hmmmm, I think next time, I'll do X first instead of Y" or whatever—talk to yourself, to your friends, to your partner about how you learn by doing. Short, light observations. No long drawn out monologues.
—Brie Jontry

SandraDodd.com/partners/child
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Light and shadow

Shadows can be fun to play with, and to notice. I've always liked it if a bird or an airplane made a shadow on me.

Be a light, when you can be. Practice thinking about what you might be overshadowing.

If you're in the desert, remember that it can be courteous to stand where you will shade someone who's tired or overheated, or is trying to read something.

Be a courteous light.
SandraDodd.com/light
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Continue to play

Play can be serious business. Playing is certainly the main way that very young children learn, until they go to school.

What if they don't go to school? What if the ages of five and six don't mark a life change, and the playing progresses along naturally?

Many people would have no idea how to answer that question. The idea that toddlers' play would naturally progress to other levels without interruption, without separation from families, and without professionals telling children when, where and how to play is foreign to most in our culture.

In one small corner, though, it's common knowledge. There are unschoolers whose children have not been to school and who have continued to play.

That writing continues here: SandraDodd.com/playing
photo by Janine Davies

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

More

Alex Polikowsky wrote:

Unschooling takes more,
more presence,
more guidance,
more attention,
more mindfulness,
more connection,
more thinking and questioning,
more choices and better choices.
—Alex Polikowsky

SandraDodd.com/misconceptions
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, April 2, 2018

False doom

If a child doing something harmless and happy is thwarted by a parent spouting false doom, the parent is the problem.

The game isn't the problem, the parent is the problem.

The child isn't the problem, the parent is the problem.



SandraDodd.com/gratitude
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, April 1, 2018

And behind that...

Think of something.
What's on the other side of that?

Remember something. What came before that?

Imagine something. What could follow?

See something. Remember there is more than you can see.

The words are new, but this is a cousin:
SandraDodd.com/feedback/perspective

photo by Caren Knox, who described it as
"La bella luna, flirting from behind our tree"
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