Showing posts sorted by relevance for query hate. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query hate. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, March 15, 2024

Be sweet and soft

Once a mom came and said she was having a hard time being present with her children. She wrote:
I hate it, and feel like I'm missing out on so many sweet, little moments, but it is so hard for me to be fully present, almost like I can't control it.
I responded:
Well don't hate it. Hate's no good. And you can't "control it." It might be easier to see it as a series of choices, with lots of chances to zone out, and lots of opportunities to focus back in.

People zone in and out all the time. It's not a sin. Live lightly. That's good for your children, if you can come back as easily as you slipped momentarily away, and if you're not hardened with self-recrimination and hate.

Be sweet and soft, for your children.

Now, 11 years later, I have a page called "positivity," though both pages are about making choices that take one incrementally toward the more positive.
photo by Lydia Koltai

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Nothing you "have to" hate

Try not to hate anything more than you "have to," and once you get to thinking more positively, you might find there's is nothing you have to hate.
photo by Lydia Koltai

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Nothing you "have to" hate

Try not to hate anything more than you "have to," and once you get to thinking more positively, you might find there's is nothing you have to hate.
photo by Lydia Koltai

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Emotional banking

People who cling to their right to hate things will have hatred in their lives.

It's worth rephrasing, rethinking, turning away, moving away from things you wanted to "hate." There are enough things you can find to enjoy.

Emotions are kind of like banking, in a way. If you deposit peaceful times and kindness and positive thoughts and joy, then you build up a stronger account of hope and all that.

Happy goes in the bank.

from the transcript of a chat on Mental Health
Kimchi and the photo of it were both made by Alex Polikowsky.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Learn to love

A new unschooler wrote:
"I hate when people say that adhd isn't real."

Any unschooling parent who hates anything is at a disadvantage.

If an unschooling parent REALLY hates something, or five things, or ten, the spaces around those dark places will be harder to fill with wonder, joy and curiosity to learn.

Hoping to begin unschooling while clinging to hatred isn't healthy physically, socially or philosophically.
photo by Marty Dodd

P.S. You don't need to learn to love everything, but learning to move toward neutrality from "hatred" (even using the term "I hate") WILL make a difference in parenting and unschooling.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A world of difference

Mary Gold wrote:

Just a little change in point of view can make a world of difference.

I used to HATE the resentment of "Why should *I* do this?" and so I just decided to change what I thought about what "this" was and why anyone had to do it. It was a philosophical shift.

BINGO! It's the shift that makes all the difference.

—Mary Gold
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, November 20, 2017

Helpful and supportive

I have suggested to parents of infants to imagine that a child comes with a book of coupons for saying "No" 200 times (pick a number; I've said 300 before, too). That is how many times a parent can say "No," and the child really listen.
So it's good not to use them all up in the first year or two, because the child won't hear you anymore. It's good to save a few dozen for when they're teens and it's crucial.

To extend that to marriage, how many hateful statements can a relationship endure? How many fights will crack the foundation? Keep hate out of your house. Only say helpful, supportive things.

Parents who wouldn't dream of telling a child he is stupid seem not to notice saying similar things to that child's other parent. Don't be hateful, and save your fights for very important things in the distant future. (If the rest of this goes well, you might never need those.)
photo by Cátia Maciel

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Don't do this at home

Almost any piece of routine damage school can do to a child, parents can do at home. Parents can make their kids hate math. They can make them never want to read a book again. They can make them want nothing more than to grow up and get away. So with unschooling, when people ask me what I think makes it work, I tell them the kids have to have a choice.

from Living Unschooling with Sandra Dodd
photo by Sandra Dodd

Note: I do avoid "have to" but in an if/then situation, sometimes there's something a person has to have to enable the desired condition. If unschooling is going to work, kids have to have choices. Parents do not "have to" give their children choices. Unschooling parents will find themselves choosing to do so.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Nine Years of Adding Light

September 2 is Just Add Light and Stir's anniversary! Thank you for reading.

Nine was one of my favorite age, in childhood. I was able to do new and bigger things. I liked my teacher. I felt strong, and smart. If you have a nine-year-old child at your house, think of me. 😊

If your only or oldest child is younger than that, this blog will be filled with posts and photos you've never seen! Have fun. There is a randomizer, on the web version, upper right. If you usually read this on a phone, consider spending some time at a computer, where the format and colors are nicer, and there are resources in the sidebar.

Having forgotten I had written and scheduled the tasteful, quiet note above, I came in and worked long on the following fizzy-whizzy post. The one above is better, but I hate to throw all this out. So, BONUS! I'm sending both as one.

I didn't make a cake this year. 😊 It would have been a good year for it. I have a granddaughter who spent a lot of the summer learning to decorate cakes, but I didn't plan ahead.

Last year, on the 8th anniversary, there was a cake photo and I wrote "May the richness and riches of this trove of words and photos seep into your soul and give you sweet dreams and good ideas."

At the end of Year 7, I posted from the Free to Be conference, in Phoenix. There's a photo of me and some others there. I wrote, in part, "I hope some of the posts have helped you be patient, and to smile. Thanks for reading!"

For the sixth anniversary, in 2016, I confessed to having not noticed the fifth.

Fourth anniversary, another homemade cake. My shared message that day is still good:

"Thank you for looking, for reading, for thinking. Thank you for being a conduit for peaceful ideas."

By then there were way over 1000 posts. Somehow I hadn't projected very far out into the future. I do think more in words than in numbers. 😊

I didn't remember the third anniversary, but I made a post worth remembering. When I went to get the link, I stabilized and repaired the photo a bit too, so good!
How will you be?

Second anniversary, I wrote "Thank you for reading, for trying these ideas at home, and for sharing them with your friends." I set up a gift exchange. I should do that again for the 10th anniversary! Postage outside the U.S. has become very expensive, though. I might need only flat gifts outside the U.S. I could probably do well with that, if I plan ahead, though! This cake, I bought:

On the first anniversary, I wrote about my methodology and concerns, and everything there is still true.

And the first post ever, about having created the blog at someone's request: The Very First Post, and why, September 2, 2010.

Best wishes to all readers, and to those who will randomly come across this in the future!

About Unschooling (site news)
photos by Sandra Dodd (photos are links)

Monday, October 30, 2023

Don't be schooly or schoolish.

Paul McCartney was doing okay musically without knowing musical notation.

I would hate to even start to imagine how many potential musicians just turned away from the idea of singing or playing instruments because they were pressed to learn music theory and notation at a young age.

They can just learn. That’s what unschooling is about.

Take away the school, the school language and practices and expectations.

And all that’s left is the learning.

Don’t be schooly or schoolish.

Be UN schoolish.

Chat with Sandra Dodd on Mommy Chats, 4/25/07
photo by Marty Dodd, of a jack-o-lantern he started, and let squirrels finish

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


I decided not to hate anything, and to leave as much of the world accessible to my kids without them feeling they were messing with something I didn't like, or asking about something I disapproved of.

When I reject something from my life, it closes doors, in my head, and in my soul. I can't make connections there anymore. I have eliminated it from active play. It's not good for unschoolers

Everyone has the freedom to be negative. Not everyone has thought of good reasons to be more positive.
The quote above starts in the middle of a sentence, at the page called "open."
Before that, it was about jazz and science fiction. It's a circus page.
photo by Ester Siroky (click for more context)

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Step back and think

I did an odd thing, when Kirby was five. I consciously decided not to use the names of "subject areas," ever. Whether he liked something or not, I wasn't going to tell him it was "history" or "math" or "science." Each of those is made up of dozens, hundreds of interests and unrelated topics.

In school, kids decide to declare that they like or hate "science," when really geology has very little to do with psychology or surgery. Same with "geography." Would someone who "likes geography" because he's fascinated by maps and mapping necessarily care about the major production of different regions of the world, or traditional costume of Afghanistan?

But as an unschooling mom, I think it's important for the parents not to say "I don't like... (maps/science/costume/psychology), because if you have fears and prejudices left over from school, it's a good thing to do whatever internal work you need to get over that, so you can answer your children's questions without showing (and maybe passing on) an aversion.
photo by Ester Siroky

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Announcement and request

The last time I had a "time out" blog I wrote "This is post 250 or so, and I was surprised the blog had lived that long. Nearly three seasons—almost a year."

That post is here:

This will be post 583, I think. And I'm writing for a similar reason. I'm gearing up to leave home for a long time. My speaking schedule will be linked below, but I'm going to be gone for two weeks, to Massachusetts and then Oregon, speaking; I'll be home just a couple of days and then go to Europe; I'll come home and be here long enough to do laundry, sleep, and re-pack, and then go to Sacramento. That's daunting.

The likelihood that I will come up with 90+ original and clever blog posts in that time is small and I want to avoid the stress, so I think some of the summer's posts might be "greatest hits." Maybe you could think of it as an oldies station, with stuff you can sing along to! I hope you will forgive re-runs, if you see any.

There are new readers, though. There are 989 Feedburner subscribers (receiving the posts directly by e-mail) and others subscribing by other sorts of blog feeds and notices, so I can confidently say "over a thousand readers." Thank you! For the new readers, it will be all new.

ANOTHER THING: If you see an older post with a missing photo, please e-mail me a link to it so I can repair it. I moved some things and if some of the photos hadn't been properly labelled as having been used, they might be in a new folder and the link will be broken. I can repair them easily, if I know about it. Thanks for helping me clean up errors you might find! For instance, yesterday's post lead to a page with something by Alex I had marked as 2011; that was a typo for 2012. A reader let me know. Thanks, Dina!
The photo is Kirby, Jill Parmer and me, last month in Albuquerque. I hate to send something without a photo. :-)

photo by Addi Davidson, with my camera