Monday, March 30, 2009

Trust Children

"Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted." --John Holt

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

Okay - what am I missing here? I find it ironic that the folks over at want us to upload pictures/video or blog during earth hour (which is from 8:30 to 9:30 tonight). Don't the computer, modem, router, etc. use far more electricity than the lights?

Don't get me wrong, I really do believe we need to take action and do what we can to reverse the effects of global warming, I'm just not sure we can do that by using our computers.

My compromise? Blog first, turn EVERYTHING off during.

Who Am I?

Yesterday I started a new social networking site for my life coach so that the GUTS Girls can connect and support each other on a more consistent basis. I just love playing on my computer - I do think it is my favorite possession!

So, in setting up my profile, I needed to answer the question, "Tell us a little about yourself" because I want everyone else on the site to answer that question.

Wow - why is this simple question always so hard to answer? I have my profile blurb that you can see on the right, but is that WHO I AM? Then I have all my roles - so many roles it makes my head spin thinking about them all - unschooling mom, unschooling advocate, homeschooling organizer, master recycler, wife, foster parent for kittens, GS leader and county cookie manager, gay rights advocate, humanist & UU, environmentalist (to some degree anyway), natural birth/nursing advocate, attachment parenting advocate and on and on it goes. You know, I'm also a daughter and a sister and a cousin and a neighbor and a former classmate, and... They are labels and there seems to be this big anti-label thing going on, at least in the unschooling and life coaching communities (more labels, no?).

Am I my roles? My roles really are how others see me, or how I relate with others. But who am I really?

I strive to be authentic. I try to be real with people. I am also working on being more compassionate - I'm usually compassionate, but I do find holes where I could be far more compassionate. I'm working on losing a lot of the judgements that I've always formed - judging isn't me any more, except when it is.

How do I answer this question in a meaningful way? What do people want to know about when they read the answers to that question?

Do I share my values? My values really are who I am at my core, right? And they probably are the most telling. I could also share my preferences. Or I could just say, "I am Joni", but that just doesn't carry the same weight for me as it does for someone like Diana!

So: I am Joyful Wise One. I am an evolving humanist who values joy, connection, growth, respect, comfort, honesty, and authenticity. Service is my primary love language. Among many other things, I am an unschooling mom of two girls, a parenting coach, and a volunteer. I am usually concerned about doing the right thing and am trying hard to be more compassionate in my life.

What do you think? For those of you who know me, does that give an accurate picture of who I am?

Monday, March 23, 2009

An Important Book

I brought the following Goodreads review here because I want people to know about this book:

As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl by John Colapinto

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I didn't find this book to be riveting in the writing style - it can be rather dry and there are parts that drag on a bit. But it is a fascinating true story about identical twin boys who, because of a circumcision gone horribly wrong, are raised as brother and sister.

The ego of Dr. John Money is infuriating and it is frustrating just how he managed to get all these cases of sex reassignment. I find it baffling that all these parents would let their children have these yearly therapy sessions with this nut without oversight, especially when the children were all vocal about not wanting to go and would get more nervous about meeting with the man as they grew older. People - listen to your children!!! They are the experts of themselves!

There are just two other parts that I have to write about. The first is that there seems to be confusion on the part of the author in the difference between gender identity (the gender you perceive yourself to be) and sexual orientation (the gender you are sexually attracted to). The author doesn't seem to understand that these two things are not necessarily related.

The other thing I want to comment on is the underlying belief that all these children have to suffer the taunting of their school peers. Children do NOT have to suffer this kind of cruelty! Do whatever you have to do to keep your children home if society cannot accept them for who they are. Let them develop their sense of self without cruel children telling them they are a freak.

I came away from this book with a strong belief that intersexed children should remain as they were born until they decide that they want to do something about it. But they need the full support of their parents to be able to develop into who they are meant to be without the taunting and teasing of people who think everyone must be the same (well, they can be a boy or a girl, but beyond that the girls all must be the same and the boys must all be the same).

I also came away with a slight fear of "experts". There is something to be said for people who have humility and a more fluid viewpoint. Who can consider actual circumstances rather than always have the "right" answer before even being presented with the case.

While this isn't a parenting book, I chose to place in on my parenting shelf because I feel that it is an important book for parents.

View all my reviews.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

No Wonder

As I was uploading my images onto my computer the other day I found a whole slew of pictures that Bekka and her friends took on Feb. 2 - Groundhog's Day. The shadows are long and sharp.

No wonder our winter has been dragging on so severely!