I’m fascinated by a conversation our crew is having.
Our bigs are frustrated that they have not been able to convince their cohorts at Sudbury that a rule that prohibits folks from cursing around people that aren’t comfortable with cursing would be wise. Interestingly, it is some of the adult staff who are most vehement that any of that sort of restriction is a form of censorship.
In our house, Yessa detests cursing and the rest of us respect that. The rest of us curse when she isn’t around, and as I’ve said before, curse words aren’t alluring because they aren’t prohibited here.
Our crew have been hearing the verbal diarrhea that all ages at Sudbury have been spewing once their restrictions are removed. (Not that everyone is cursing constantly.) They understand that this will hopefully abate once the fascination with cursing wears off.
Some of our crew’s discomfort comes from appropriate boundaries. Monkey was explaining in the car on the way to Sudbury.
“Common decency and societal norms are boundaries we as a society have agreed upon for the comfort of many. Though Sudbury prides itself on being unlike ‘regular school,’ there are rules in public school that have very valid reasons. Refusing to implement a rule because it is one that regular school might have is ludicrous.”
One of the adults in particular is fascinating to us because she is a huge proponent of Non-Violent Communication (as a relatively new convert can be), yet in talking with Monkey about anxiety she engaged in “adult-splaining,” which falls well outside the goals of non-violent communication. She attempted to “explain” to Monkey that she knew of an herbal tea that could help Monkey with her anxiety.
Monkey has spent a very long time and many hours of research and thought creating tools to calm her anxiety as well as support herself when she needs to be in a situation that is going to cause anxiety. (All of us have those times we have to be in tough situations.)
For this adult to assume she had more insight into Monkey’s anxiety than Monkey did and that an herbal tea could help was demeaning, though we all understand her intentions were good.
This adult’s “reverse censorship” approach has given us much for discussion.
The lessons of Sudbury are vast and powerful. Our crew continues to do well and they get themselves up and get themselves ready to go each day, which indicates good things to me. I think we all miss our days together of travel and learning and play, but this new pattern is bringing a great deal of learning, too.
As with many things that bring the biggest lessons, the time in the midst of the thing isn’t always fun or pleasant, but when you look back on it, you are grateful for the lessons it brought.