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© 2019 by Joyce Fetteroll

TV values supplanting parents' values

What if they did? What if they decided it was really cute to call someone an obnoxious name or act in a very obnoxious manner - ala Bart.

 

If they do find it cute, it could be because it's funny! Helping them decide if the context is right for a particular joke is useful information for them. If they aren't trying to hurt, if they aren't using words at someone as weapons to feel more powerful, then it shows we don't trust them if we treat them as though they were deliberately hurting someone.

 

Butif they are using words as weapons to deliberately hurt then it gives you insight into what's already inside them. It tells you there was something building up needing release that didn't have an outlet before.

 

If there's no steam coming out of a pressure cooker's vent does that mean there is no flame beneath it or does it mean the valve is clogged?

 

If a child is "well behaved" does that mean they have no pressure to release or does it mean they don't have a way to release the pressure and it's building up inside?

 

Controlling how a child behaves on the outside doesn't alter what's going on inside. We can make children behave in acceptable ways but that doesn't make the pressure that needs released go away. It just hides it from our view. And kids repress it and hold it in until it twists them up inside. Or they sneak away to release it where we can't see it.

 

If children "misbehave" it doesn't come from no where. It may be personality that needs a release. And our job is to help them find more acceptable releases. It may be external events. And our job is to either help them learn to deal with the external events or to stop the external events from happening.

 

I guess what I'm getting is that children are very attuned to that around them, why expose them to trash when there is so much wonderful stuff out there.

 

Which is a way of saying that you don't trust that your values offer as much as the values on TV. You're saying a child will grow up in a home created by your values and then see the values on TV and say yours are junk and those values are a much better way to live.

 

Why do you believe that? And why do you think your children would believe that? (More honest questions to ask yourself.)

 

What do you feel is lacking in your values that TV values will provide a release for? Do you live your values because God wants you to or because, even if God didn't tell you to, that they are good and right values?

 

I read a lot of murder mysteries. Usually the murderer has sensible reasons for murdering someone. But reading mysteries doesn't make me want to use murder to solve my problems. Why?

 

If we live our values because we know they offer us a paradise in the wasteland beyond our values and we offer our children a home life created by those values, then why would our children choose differently?

 

If we live our values as though they were a wall that prevents our children from escaping into paradise, then why would they stay behind the wall?

 

I grew up on t.v., it's not like it used to be. There is so much sex, violence, etc. and all these thing directly go against the religious beliefs that me and my dh espouse.

 

What is more attractive about sex and violence than what you already offer your children? Why would they want to use violence to solve problems? It's something to think about. If our values offer something better and if we offer them ways of getting what they need then there isn't a reason to turn to sex and violence.

 

(Though sex is really something that we can't ultimately control. The most we can do is offer them what they need so they aren't choosing sex for the wrong reasons -- like wanting affection and love or to create something that will (supposedly) love them unconditionally.)

 

TV and books and video games give our children a chance to live vicariously in worlds where the rules they live by are changed. If our values offer them more, then there's no reason for them to live there even if it is a fun place to escape for a while.

 

We used to watch Xena who solved most of her problems by killing and beating people up. As much fun as it was to watch, my daughter has shown no desire to live in such a world. Not because I forbid her to but because she does have a choice and sees our life as a better choice.

 

 

The "best" environment

 

Waldorf is like a gift that parents want their kids to have. But their kids may or may not like the gift!

 

Waldorf is like unbleached, organic underwear when the kids want polyester Spiderman underwear.

 

It's really easy when they're infants to imagine the wonderful environment free from the bad stuff that we're going to create for them. And it's relatively easy with just one. For a while.

 

But ultimately those "free" environments are really about control: it's one person's idea of what's best imposed on another person. And it's just as oppressive for kids as it would be if you were living with a husband who only let you have the things he approved of and make the choices he approved of. It's hard to see it that way when we're sure that we're right (for wanting all wooden toys for instance) and they're wrong (for wanting flashy plastic stuff that breaks)! But from the point of view of the one who no longer has the freedom to get what they want, it's just as oppressive.

 

Unschooling approaches life differently. Rather than limiting, we open the world to them and walk along with them as they explore it. Above all being aware and appreciating what they find fascinating (even cheap plastic toys and video games) but also pointing things out to them that they might find interesting, holding their hand before their trip over a root and helping them up when they just need to run despite the roots. We live our values. We help them apply principles. But ultimately the choice is up to them.

 

 

Joyfully Rejoycing