"A principle internally motivates you to do the things that seem good and right. People develop principles by living with people with principles and seeing the real benefits of such a life. A rule externally compels you, through force, threat or punishment, to do the things someone else has deemed good or right. People follow or break rules.
Which is the hope most parents have for their kids? Do they hope their kids will comply with and follow rules, or do they hope their kids will live their lives making choices that are good and right?Most people heard sometime, somewhere "we have to have rules" and they swallowed it because they were punished if they didn't, and so, here they are today, talking about rules without any thought to what rules really are. For a lot of people, thinking too deeply about what they believe is too painful. It's just easier to do what was done to them. Deb Lewis"http://sandradodd.com/rules
"Lots of people go through their whole lives never feeling like they had choices in many many areas of their lives in which they really did. Just like it is useful for unschoolers to drop school language (not use the terms teaching or lessons or curriculum to refer to the natural learning that happens in their families) it is useful to drop the use of "have to's" and replace it with an awareness of choices and options.How we think - the language we use to think - about what we're doing, matters."
"Arbitrary rules and limits have the characteristic that they entice kids to think about how they can get around them and can even entice kids to cheat and lie. I know a couple of really really great unschooled kids whose parents set limits on their computer use time. The kids used to get up in the middle of the night to use the computer while their parents were asleep. It is an unintended but very very predictable side effect of rules and limits that they always set parents and children up as adversaries (the parents are setting the rules and the children are being required to obey them - these are adversarial positions) and can lead to kids feeling guilty and sneaky when they inevitably bend or even outright break the rules. Avoiding that kind of possibility is one really good reason for not having rules or limits at all. Pam Sorooshian " http://sandradodd.com/choice
"If you've adopted a set of principles and priorities, it will make decisionmaking easier. And I don't mean to choose your five and write them down. I mean to consider what's important in a situation when you're making a decision. And those things can vary."
"Imagine that you'd had a really big day and were hungry and tired and came home to be told that you couldn't do something that you really wanted to do. Something that you'd thought about in moments when you were out with pleasure and anticipation. Something that you knew would help to relax you, to wind you down. Have a glass of wine, or a piece of bread that you'd baked that morning. Watch a television show that was on that evening, read the next chapter in a book that you were really enjoying. Someone who had power over you decided that you couldn't do whatever it was that you were wanting to do because you needed to eat dinner, shower and go to bed. Would you savor your meal? Would you enjoy the feeling of the warm water cascading over you in the shower? Would you fall asleep peacefully? Or would each and every one of those experiences be tainted by the power that someone else had wielded over you, poisoned by your own powerlessness, your weakness in the face of someone else's flexed muscle?" http://sandradodd.com/control
"Anytime I feel resentment building up I try to look at the activity or situation in the light of death. If the one I loved were gone, cleaning up after them or reminding them of something for the thousandth time might seem endearing, rather than irritating. I'm quite sure I'd miss lego parts strewn through the house if Jared was gone from my life.
Seeing our life work, our choices through the eyes of gratitude changes everything. When financial difficulties set in, I can be grateful for our health, for our togetherness and the true wealth we DO enjoy in this country. When I'm sick, I can be grateful I have family to care for me and that I can recover from whatever is ailing me, unlike many folks suffering much worse fates. We have the ability to choose gratefulness in any situation. For me, this has been life changing, though I still have a long ways to go! And I have tried very hard to take the words "have to" out of my vocabulary. Some of you may feel it's just semantics, but it's empowering to see everything I do as a choice. When I'm getting ready for work I have caught myself saying "I have to get to work now" and stopped myself, saying " I CHOOSE to go to work and I need to be there soon." Simple? Perhaps. But sometimes the simplest details lead to more mindful living. The richness of abundant living is in the details. Ren "http://sandradodd.com/gratitude/ "Food you want, served to you by someone who loves you and brings it to you with a smile and a hug, has magical powers to heal and replenish the soul as well as the body" http://sandradodd.com/servisse "Should people live in the water in the middle of the ocean, or should they live on land as far as possible away from an ocean? Quickly! What's your answer? "http://sandradodd.com/balance
"How many things do you do because you're supposed to, because your relatives and neighbors expect it, because it's easy and you don't have to think about it? How many of those things are taking you and your kids in a positive and healthy direction? "http://sandradodd.com/joy
" If a parent can't tell the difference between "consequences" and "punishment" and doesn't want to even try to, she'll probably keep punishing her children and telling herself it's not punishment, it's consequences. That muddled thinking can't lead to clarity nor to better parenting.
Untangling confusion with words often takes the use of other words, which is why people who's primary interests don't involve language can become very frustrated with other who say "But 'principle" is NOT just another word for 'rule'." http://sandradodd.com/semantics
"I've been thinking about that saying "All things in moderation." Next time someone says it to me, I think I might just ask them: "Do you mean we should have joy in moderation? Should we have peace in moderation? Kindness in moderation? Patience in moderation? Forgiveness? Compassion? Humility?" Honestly, I used to think it sounded like a very wise and balanced philosophy. Now, the more I think about it the less sense it makes. Leah Rose"http://www.sandradodd.com/focus "Our lives are surrounded by the "end result" of people who grew up with too much parental control. The hurts can last a lifetime and be passed on to all around. Some adults are catatonic with indecision and fear when faced with the simplest of life's decisions, because they were never allowed to make decisions when they were growing up, and were assured they would have screwed up everything if the parents HAD loosened control.
I see those results every day. I still see them in myself sometimes, and I'm 54 years old. I see them in people I've known since we were kids, as they still must negotiate with the voices in their heads saying, 'No, don't.'" http://sandradodd.blogspot.pt/2007/11/end-results.HTML
"I've mentioned my old attitude and how I'm working on things. I had an awesome moment about half an hour ago that made me feel really good. My youngest son told me matter of factly that he had spilled his milk. I got up, found something close to begin cleaning and asked him to get another towel that was farther away, but was big enough to finish the job. We cleaned the milk up together and got him into some new clothes. This probably sounds really simple, and basically, the actions were the same ones I would have followed just a few months ago. The spill was cleaned and the clothes changed. The difference this time was that no one yelled, screamed, sighed, huffed, growled, stomped and no one else cried, screamed or got scared of his father. It also took a fraction of the time to just smile and wipe.
In the middle of all that I had a moment where I realized how much nicer it was to just deal with the situation. It wasn't a moment to teach him not to spill his milk. It wasn't a moment to deride or correct. It was just spilled milk and a little boy with a cold strip down the front of his clothes. And that's all they ever are, just spilled milk and soggy britches." Sam, on AlwaysLearning, January 2006
"Pointing out the words people use is never a waste of time. "http://sandradodd.com/mindfulofwords
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