The Pacific Ocean near Tillamook, OR., during my visit last July.
A child’s stormy emotions of unhappiness, anxiety, anger, frustration, and fear are often expressed through adverse attitudes and behaviors because they simply don’t know any other way to make the people around them understand how they are feeling. As a result, these children are routinely judged and labeled as bratty, attention seeking, trouble-makers who are then quickly diagnosed as attention deficient, defiant, angry, depressed, and even psychotic. With these diagnoses in hand, they are then prescribed every kind of med you can possibly imagine.
This process is frequently swift and triggers crisis situations that many times could be averted if that child had someone(s) who took the time to listen to what was truly behind all that misery, distress, anxiety, anger, defiance, and frustration. And, helped them to understand, as well as give them tools to work through their adverse attitudes and behaviors without blaming, judging or labeling. This person does not necessarily need to be a mental health counselor. They can be anyone who respects and appreciates these kids for their unique selves and who trusts them enough to believe that they know on a fundamental level what they need, even if they are not yet able to express it in words, or, that it doesn’t exactly meet society’s expectations. These are people who believe that these kids are smart, capable, creative, imaginative, and good individuals, and, most importantly advocates for them in every single situation and offers them a safe place --- free of coercion to grow hope and aspirations.
I firmly believe that if every child had at least one such advocate, we would have fewer flashpoints and intense crisis situations that often take years to resolve. Kids would learn to express themselves positively, knowing that they will not be ridiculed or dismissed. We would, quite simply, have a population who is excited about learning, exploring, and growing; who understand that we are all human beings, and, that kindness is a language that is universally spoken. DRC News
Property - We are still in waiting mode – I should hear whether our offer has been accepted later today. The next hurdle is planning board approval. They meet this coming Tuesday.
Travel – I will be attending the Liberated Learnersconference at North Star in Amherst, MA this coming weekend. Therefore, I will not be writing a blog next Sunday. I am looking forward to spending time with and gaining inspiration from all the other amazing folks, who do “this” at the other self-directed learning centers around the country. But first, I get some down time with my “little” brother Pete for a whole day at Four Pillars Farm, his organic veggie operation, in Whiting, VT! I will be back at DRC on Monday, June 25th. If you would like to schedule a time to discuss your child’s educational needs – please get in touch.