More Love as Control – Purity Balls on Tyra Banks NOW

29 10 2007

FavD and I are watching video of a real purity ball right now. We see the white roses and the white ballerinas and the giant cross. We’ve never seen The Tyra Banks Show, but today when we turned the technology on, to see last night’s Desperate Housewives (recorded because of the WORLD SERIES!) we found “Inside the Secret World of Purity Ball” and we are sitting here mouths hanging open.

The founder guy has four of his five daughters on. And his wife — the Wilsons. He is backpedaling imo: Oh, it’s about the dads being good, not the girls and it’s not mainly about chastity, just love and relationships.

They are homeschoolers of course, as is the black family guesting today. The Moores. Tyra keeps asking every girl and woman quite guilelessly, if they “remained pure” or not. She sounds so friendly about it that they don’t seem to realize how bizarre it is to be discussing this at all on tv, much less with children.

OOh, this is unexpected — now she’s talking with a grown woman named “Alice” who sang at purity events as a teen, but secretly she developed an eating disorder from the pressure of living a lie, not being perfect and seeing that men are not really princes. Not even her minister dad. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Your Love for Your Kids Controlling?

29 10 2007

Controlling them, I mean. (Of course you believe love controls YOU.)

But is controlling children the best answer to loving them? Have you considered the collaborative model instead?

Our articulate, introspective friend Pam Sorooshian is a real-life unschooling inspiration to so many loving parents. As her own three daughters grew into (very smart and well-socialized!) young women, we’ve been privileged to see Pam focus more of her prodigious compassion, intelligence and educator skills on helping younger moms understand and begin living by unschooling principles.

Like Sandra Dodd, I think this is Pam’s calling, her mission — her way to help make the real world a better place not in the gauzy possible future, but right this minute.

She’s really good at it, too. At least she sure does get to me! 🙂

And because that IS her whole purpose when she writes about unschooling, I think she won’t mind me blogging a connection to something she wrote, her modeling answer to a question about limiting tv and computer screen-time.

I’ve been reading at Parenting Beyond Belief, a series of posts examining the Christian control meme as semi-pornographic advice online and off, advice on spanking with love, no — that spanking IS love. And that love is control, shown through an elaborate system of limits and consequences.

And that the child’s resistance is natural; expect it and prepare to subdue it early and often. Beat it out of the children you love, show them who’s boss every minute of the day and night. This is divine commandment and the more ritualistic and intimidating, the more memorably painful, the more thoroughly it breaks the child’s spirit, the better. Love is thereby defined as power, absolute control by any escalating means that crushes challenge to authority of any kind.

I tend to focus mainly on the horror of all that actual hitting, but along comes Pam to remind me love-as-control is a whole mindset, a parenting meme. There are ways to control and disrespect (and spoil) a beloved child, to reap what you’ve sown with your “love as control” even while congratulating yourself for not PHYSICALLY abusing your child’s precious spirit, trust and love for you.

Posted by “Pamela Sorooshian”

Sat Oct 27, 2007

Instead of putting our focus on whether or not the kids are watching
too much, we can put our focus on supporting their interests and
offering them lots and lots of possible experiences.

If their interests include tv-watching, then far from restricting them,
instead, I supported that interest. I did that by enthusiastically watching with them, playing tv-show based games online or as video games, getting tv-based hands-on games and toys and puzzles, noticing when there might be a “special” on tv they’d want to watch, noticing which shows they really liked and finding all kinds of tie-ins — use Google to look for all kinds of things related to their favorite tv shows — bring up things happening in their favorite shows when you’re having conversations about other things, dress up like the tv show characters for Halloween or just for fun anytime, get books and coloring books and activity books that are related, BUYING whole seasons of their favorite shows, getting cd’s of the music from their shows, getting books based on the shows or on which the shows are based, AND finding creative ways of extending some of the inevitable connections that every show brings up.

Maybe sometimes people really just can’t imagine how to respond to tv
in a way more consistent with showing the deep underlying trust in
our children on which unschooling is based.

For those restricting tv, maybe just try this as an experiment: Read the rest of this entry »