Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bullying: Why Zero-Tolerance Doesn’t Work

When grown-ups realized bullying was a big, bad problem, they did what they usually do: they banned it. Zero-tolerance. Automatic suspension. Kids forced to sign contracts to report bullies. Now the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an independent … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

3 Responses to Bullying: Why Zero-Tolerance Doesn’t Work

  1. Makes sense to me.

  2. “You can’t solve a problem by wishing it away. Or banning it. Or expressing zero-tolerance.”

    That quote should be sent to every lawmaker, legislator, policy maker, school official, and rule maker in the country. Too often, well-intentioned, but misguided and/ or lazy adults believe that simply passing a law will fix any problem that comes up.

    Our local school district has typical anti-bullying policies that are as ineffectual as most.

    Chris

  3. Jan Waters says:

    Great Heather! As usual, you are right on! Kids have to learn what to do not just what not to do. Jan Waters

Wisdom from Vermont

One of the stops I made on my book tour this summer was Phoenix Books in Burlington, Vermont.  There, next to my poster on the bookstore window, was a poster for another parenting book by Vermonter Vicki Hoefle.  Vicki and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

9 Responses to Wisdom from Vermont

  1. deidra says:

    I remember when I was in 2nd grade. I told my mom I didn’t like what she packed me for lunch and I was going to make my own lunch from now on. She said fine and I made my own lunch every day from that point on. She even mentioned once she thought I made good choices. Sandwich, piece of fruit, celery and carrot sticks.

  2. “letting kids problem-solve, gain trust, and take reasonable risks.”

    yes, Yes, YES! – I love this approach!

  3. Wes says:

    it depends on how you view work. if your view is some type of successor to the puritan work ethic, the work is healthy, purifying, and the path to righteousness/dependence. However, for most people, every hour they spend on the job is an hour their boss get more of their time than they do. We spend out whole lives working. My parents discouraged me from trading the only time I had to be young for minimum wages dollars to buy junk, and I’ll be sure to do the same.

  4. Pingback: Messy, True, But Worth It: Real Duct Tape Parenting Adventures | Vicki Hoefle

  5. Erin says:

    Terrific! We’re raising adults, not children. Friends are shocked that all my kids (6-14) make their own lunches, get their own snacks and drinks, have chores, etc. It’s not hard. You catch them when they’re 2 and they WANT to help, then they’re “sucked in” and can’t help it! My children also know that we will pay for necessities, but anything else (car, cell phone, etc) is THEIR responsibility and we expect them to earn it somehow. Too many adults (in age only) leech off their parents because said parents didn’t want to “make” them do anything responsible.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Erin, sounds as if you might be from Vermont! Or at least read Vicki’s book/ could have written it yourself. Leeching goes on as long as parents let it, and responsibility feels great. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. L.C. says:

    Great post, Heather. My observation comes from a (former) child’s perspective. I’m 23 now.

    I think it’s interesting how Vicki gives doing laundry as an example of something kids should know before age 9. My mother refused to teach me how to do laundry when I asked, which was multiple times throughout my childhood (including a few weeks before I left for college). Her reason? I “should” know how to do laundry at age 17, and she forbade me from even TRYING, because I would probably make a mistake and ruin the whole load. When I arrived on campus three weeks later, I triple-checked the directions on the detergent bottle and washing machine, then pressed the little “start” button…and heaved a huge sigh of relief when I didn’t blow up the machine. I was competent enough to do a load of laundry! Who knew?!

    Additionally, my parents always complained that I was “lazy” and “never did anything around the house.” I specifically remember asking my parents when I was 7 for more chores (I’ll admit it’s because I wanted more allowance. That, and I was tired of being labeled “lazy” even though I worked hard and got straight A’s in school). My parents laughed it off, saying even if I asked to help around the house, I still wouldn’t do it. And on the occasion where I did do chores (like cleaning the bathroom), my parents would often barge in and “correct” whatever I was doing. When they did that, I always slunk back to my room and stayed there, because even if I did “get up and do something,” it was always done wrong. It was better if I just sat in my room and did nothing and listened as my parents complained about how much work they have to do.

    So my message to parents (and myself as a future parent) is that your kids WILL make mistakes doing chores. Maybe they will accidentally tie-dye your laundry, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t ever attempt it. Maybe they will miss a ton of spots while cleaning the bathroom counter, but you can’t expect them to do better if you just yank the sponge out of their hand and tell them what a sloppy job they’re doing. Raising confident children is not about telling them “great job” at every minor achievement. It’s about making them feel like they matter, and that their efforts are needed to sustain the household – not like they’re just some lazy lump who is begrudgingly waited on hand and foot.

    Again, great post. 🙂

  7. Pingback: Interview with Vicki Hoefle: Author of “Duct Tape Parenting,” PLUS a GIVEAWAY! | Abundant Life Children