#55 - Sandra Dodd | The Unforeseen Benefits of Unschooling - Healing past traumas

Sandra Dodd healing past traumas

🗓️ Recorded January 17th, 2024. 📍Playa Dorada, Lengüeta Arenosa, Baja California, Mexico

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About this Episode 

Unschooling profoundly impacts both children and parents. For many parents, the process of deschooling themselves is a journey of personal growth and healing. By allowing your children to thrive free from academic pressures, you also foster a unique space for parental reflection and development.

Together with Sandra Dodd, we delve into 'The Unforeseen Benefits of Unschooling: Healing Past Traumas.'

Sandra draws intriguing parallels between the care we offer to our children and the nurturing we extend to ourselves. We uncover how embracing the unschooling philosophy can lead to a harmonious existence that respects natural growth and learning rhythms.

Join us in this episode as we explore not just an educational alternative but a gateway to a more compassionate and authentic way of living.

Episode links:

Links for articles and thoughts on the internet, unschooling, and videogames

Watch the full interview on YouTube

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With love


Jesper Conrad 


00:00 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Welcome to Self-Directed. We are your hosts, cecilia and Jesper Conrad, and now it's time to welcome this week's guest. We are still together with Sandra Dodd. We decided to cut the interview we did with her into two episodes, so here we are. If you haven't heard the last week's episode, it was about YouTube and gaming and the fears parents can have about that, but we also wanted to go into how unschooling can be healing for us, the parents. So first of all, welcome to you, sandra. Wonderful to have you here.

00:39 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
Thank you.

00:40 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
The subject of how unschooling can help heal you as a parent. I would love to talk about that, and for me it's a little difficult to figure out what part of the healing is being a parent and what part of the healing comes through the unschooling. Do you have any thoughts about that?

01:04 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
Yeah, because in your case there will be no way to separate those.

01:08 - Jesper Conrad (Host)

01:09 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
And that's okay. I don't. If we were running a study, we would need some groups, you know, to compare some groups that didn't have kids or did have kids or whatever, or didn't unschool. But we don't, and that's something that can't be helped. From the very, very beginning that I was writing about unschooling, people were going I want to run a study and I'm like nope, I want to test your kids. Nope, you know, not just my kids, but all the kids of all the people in my group. And I said no, no, we're not going to do that. Well, we need to follow up. Why? Who's paying for this follow up? That doesn't make sense, because anytime you test, then the test itself affects the responses and it's no, no, don't mess with these kids. We're letting them grow up untested. That's part of the deal. And so your test isn't a school type test, but it's a stop December 1st. We're measuring everything. No, why no? So in a way, I think that made me seem unscientific to people who are saying we want to be scientific. Sorry, we don't want to mar the test subjects, because they're not subjects, they're not so anyway. So I was a little defensive of that, and not a little, and it came up less as time went on, I think, but sometimes people would do a study with a few volunteer families. My family was involved in one from MIT about the. I should send you a link to that. It was a study about families who did let their kids use the internet and what happened, but there are only five or six families in it, I think. So it was. You know, I'm wary of a study that only has that many subjects.

I was told when I said psychology as a kid I didn't. I didn't. I have an English degree, but I had a psychology. I was a minor they said a good test needs to have at least 200 subjects. I hardly ever see tests with 200 anymore. It's like, oh, we interviewed 40 people. It's like, yeah, right, I could interview 40 people at the grocery store today, but that's still going to be the people who are at the grocery store at my house today. So, anyway, it's hard to say it. It's hard to say that's true about everything. One thing I've said a lot of times is the best answer is usually it depends, yeah. So what does it depend on? Yeah, I didn't know, though.

When I first started unschooling for the first probably five or six years, I had no idea that this was going to be healing to parents. That wasn't the goal. The goal was to help our kids learn outside of school. Yeah, to create some alternative, really fun home school situation where they played all the time and and where we just answered their questions, where you could see are these things that the school reform people in the 1970s said would work because they had done tests? They had done tests on lots of people on how learning works well, and then it just couldn't really work in the public schools were like okay, these ideas are tested, improving, let's do them. Let's do this stuff. Letting them choose what they read, letting them choose where they read. You know the little easy stuff that's schoolish. Moving on, moving on to learning math from games and playing, and you know, math manipulatives was the same thing. Math manipulatives was the school term, but just with playing with stuff and rearranging them and knowing that Lego sometimes two layers high and sometimes one layer high, don't talk about it on, say, it's math, Give them a bunch of Lego and then they figure those things out. So, anyway, that worked well and everything's working really well for all these kids. But it only works well when the parents are de schooling, when the parents are looking at their fears and their prejudices and their experiences and their definitions of learning and teaching and all of that so the parents come with as as school kids. The parents come as grown, sometimes wounded, sometimes wildly successful former school kids, so they are looking through school colored glasses. They can't see at first what learning would look like in the absence of all of that. All of that terminology, schedule, semesters, units, all those school words. They're looking at unschooling through that and it's, it's inevitable, it's impossible not to at first. Okay, we need to do school. Best way to do school is to watch how your kids learn and maybe think about how you learned the things that you didn't learn Schoolishly.

Like I learned to play piano and I learned to read music when I was really little. I could read music before I could read English, so for me that was easy and my parents didn't make me. I wanted to, so that was fine and I always did music when I could. When I came out of college and went back to visit my teachers, I said I finished college, I'm going to be a teacher. Every single person I talked to said music, no, english. Oh, everybody I didn't know, saw me as a musician and I was just like music is fun, but English is awesome, you know. So anyway, I went back to see how did I learn to play guitar? Not with lessons, I figured it out, you know. Somebody gave me a lesson and I went okay, got it, got it. And I still say tell people the amount of Martinez taught me to play guitar.

She said I did not, I showed you how to hold it, but she gave me what I needed to go on, and sometimes that's all it needs is calligraphy. For years and I had tried when I was young, I would buy calligraphy pins and ink and I would read the little flyer and I could not do it. I could not do it. One lesson of somebody showing me how to dip the pen and how to get the extra ink off and what angle to hold it and how hard to push, that's what I needed. That's what the paper couldn't tell me. So I saw that with my kids too. Sometimes just visiting somebody who's doing something sharpening knives or you know something physical, something like that Like you may not be able to figure it out, but now there are YouTube videos. Now I'm going back to your prior.

06:55 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Oh, no, no, no, no, they they awesome.

06:57 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Talk to about whatever we want.

06:59 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
Oh my gosh, yeah, my kids. Now they want to fix something or or, you know, find something. They just go to YouTube and see how other people are doing it. I tiled a shower and I hadn't tiled for years, so it'd probably been 20 or 30 years since I had tiled anything and I was going to tiled a shower. So I went to YouTube to see what's new. I thought some new technology or some new materials. Maybe Now it's the same, but it. But watching that video reminded me If I start from the bottom and the top both, and do my my cutting in the middle, I was doing a mosaic anyway. So it's like, okay, it reassured me to see somebody else doing tile, because I didn't want to invite anybody over, it was just I've done tile before, but it really helped to go. Okay, I forgot. Oh, yeah, that's good, that's good. And so helping kids learn by just exposing them to seeing it done or being able to touch the materials I had. That that was fine, I got it. So I'm in the business of.

I started speaking at conferences not long after I started writing, because I guess because I was writing and then had spoken to a couple of local New Mexico, things of people that I knew from L'Echule. Then when they started having other conferences is like who has ever spoken at any conference? So I ended up getting to speak a lot and that was helpful, organizing my thoughts to the point that I could summarize, you know, in an hour for people who have the attention span of 50 minutes. I'm just, it's funny how schoolish sometimes conferences are. But what can you do?

Yeah and they are so. So, then, one of the talks that I gave early on was called unforeseen benefits of unschooling.

08:42 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Unforeseen benefits of unschooling, yeah.

08:45 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
Because I didn't know that it would make me nicer to my dog and my cats, but it did, because I started thinking like principles instead of rules. What does this dog need? What is this? What's natural for this dog? What does this dog want? And some people have put their, their doors upside down, so if there's a little window for you to look out and see who's there, they put that at the bottom so the dog can look at.

09:08 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Oh cute.

09:10 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
So what we decided to do was, anytime the dog is at the door barking, open the door and let the dog look. A lot of people tell their dog don't bark, be quiet. Well, you don't know who's outside there Godzilla could be in your front yard. You open the door. What do you have a dog for? You know, I mean, the dog is doing what dogs do, so we would open the door and let her check, and sometimes she would walk out and sometimes she would just stay there and smell, and then she would relax or not, and if she relaxed, we go, it's okay to the dog. Yeah, okay.

And I thought this dog is so much happier now and so I would do that to my cats. What do these cats want? Instead of batting the cat away, I didn't want them on the table or the counters, I kept batting them off of that. You know they can get on the desk, they can get on the bed and it's like what do the cats need? What do they want? You know what food do they like? And a lot of people don't think about that with cats, you know they just they go by what the vet said or whatever, and they ignore the cat. So that's interesting.

I started being different with trees in my yard and I was like, okay, this tree didn't like New Mexico, why try to force this plant to grow here when I can find plants that want to grow here? So it just became a sort of an overall what do people and things and animals want? What's their motivation? And I can help them. Not totally conscious, I wasn't like running around telling everybody oh, listen, listen. But I started to feel it in myself and I just started saying, oh, I feel so much better now that I've de-schooled, I'm getting along with my husband better. Now that I've de-schooled, now that I've relaxed into not caring when my kids go to bed or not being mad at my kids or not putting their laundry in the hamper every single time, I found out that I don't like nag my husband as much and he was like, oh, that's nuts, you know. So the first few reports are like great, but then they started to pile up and I started collecting them. And that's why there's so many pages on my site, because when there's another topic, I like collect a lot of evidence. There. It's like, oh, if you want to read about this, here's a page and that's. It's odd, it's like a. It's talking to Pamela. I guess it's like a pharmacy. I said it's like a pharmacy. Some people don't need this topic, it just sits there. It's a rare one, it's specialized, but somebody comes and brings that question. I can send them that thing. So I, I, there, there are I know you're a, you're a psychologist. There are some others who have come through and some have stayed and some aren't practicing anymore and some are. But it was interesting.

At first I was really self-conscious because I realized at some point that what I was doing, the kind of ideas I was espousing and putting out there, were cognitive therapy to some degree. It was like you're calling it this. That's your problem. You're stuck with this word. You're stuck with the way you've defined that, that teaching needs a, that that teaching, that learning needs a teacher, that you taught, that they taught themselves. Like what? If you just don't say taught, then what happens Then? This whole ocean of world of learning opens up. If you step away from the taught teacher school, sure, there's learning galore that has nothing to do with teachers and teaching. So get out there, stop saying teaching. Well, I know I shouldn't call it teaching, but look, just stop thinking it.

So that's where I thought I've crossed the line now, and there used to be people who said we're not, we're not therapists, we shouldn't be giving anybody advice about anything that therapists give advice about. Like what People talking to their friends is that, yes, well, I'm really mad at my boyfriend. I don't know why he's making me mad. So whatever they say is, is or is not therapy. It's either support, which can be one of the worst things anybody can get, to go, you're right, you're right, he sucks. Then you have never done anything wrong in your entire life, but this guy sucks. That's not therapeutic, that's can be really destructive. But yeah, ending a guy might suck, but you know it's when you, when you just talk to your friends or you talk to unschoolers, you take what you get. And I'm like, you know, I'm not. I didn't say I was a therapist, I'm not saying that at all. But people who were psychologists would come on the side and go, hey, you know what you just did, you know what that was. I'm like, oh, I didn't know that. So I didn't know that.

But it turned out that when people decided to give something up, they first needed to figure out what that was that they were giving up part of de-schooling, Like I'm really stuck here. I really think that math has to be taught in order, and I'm waiting for them to see enough geometry that I can start with algebra whatever right, whatever order they think that it has to be. And so once they could figure out what words were stuck in them, the words that were making a barrier between them and relaxing, then they could I case by case, and none of these discussions were just me and somebody. It was always a big group and there were. We had so many math and engineering kind of people. I mean, joyce was an engineer, pam was a math professor, but there were others, and so sorry we had biologists and all kinds of people.

14:31 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
So we need Sandra, sorry there's. So the dogs. There's someone at the door who I need to see who it is for the dogs.

14:39 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I can talk?

14:40 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah, I would just talk to my mom, you can keep on.

14:43 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
All right, so anyway, I lost my place.

14:49 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Engineers and mathematicians.

14:52 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
So when a question came, it didn't get just answered by one person, it would. It was like a washing machine kind of like the thing goes in and it gets tumbled around and it gets smoothed off, or a rock tumbler maybe. She comes in and everybody plays with it and says, well, what about this, what about that, what about that? And we started seeing that even the people who were helping were benefiting from reexamining their own ideas and thoughts. And so this whole discussion I've been in a series of discussions the four, the formats and the sites that they were on the message boards or whatever would eventually be taken down for one reason or another. Some of them were costing a lot of money in a magazine, not a business or what, but it was. We started to see that the value of these discussions that had a few hundred people in was benefiting the parents in the discussion itself and the. I have this problem and everybody's going well, try this, this, this, this, this, this. It's not only helping that person. And we early on said, ok, we're not answering you, we're looking at your question, at the thing that you've brought, yeah, the solution, the problem you've brought. So don't take this personally. We're going to talk about this nugget of information you've laid on the table. Lots of people would come and say I've been reading that group for five years but I never posted on the side. Like they would say I've never posted, but when I'm reading it I think what's Sandra going to say, what's Pam going to say, what's Deb Lewis going to say, what's Skyler going to say? And by just them learning Enough about those people and those ideas and those fields of interest Skyler was an anthropologist by them looking at it through those other people's angles, they were learning so much, even if they didn't participate in the discussion, and so it was a really high level of philosophical inquiry, scientific inquiry into those questions. Because my goal I wasn't always running the groups, but when I was, my goal was to keep the information in such a good state that other people could come and read it later. So if anybody gave that advice we would jump on. We would say OK, wait, wait, wait.

The problem with this is it leads back toward a curriculum, it leads back toward unit studies, it leads back toward control. It doesn't lead toward the parents relaxing. So in the attempt to get the parents to relax and accept and change enough that they could let the kids have more choices and see the learning that was happening in activities that the parents weren't interested in or didn't know about the parents themselves were. It's like brushing, combing tangled, tangled hair. You have to start at the ends. You can't go up here, you've come as just stuck and broken. You have to start at the end and untangle and untangle and untangle. And that ended up being how de-schooling was, and sometimes you comb something out and you come to a tangle you didn't even expect.

So childhood traumas would come up, or periods of time when it didn't go well for the kid or really did go well for the kid. So, even though people might be really de-schooled, for an eight-year-old it's like I am it, I have it, we're going 90 miles an hour, it's great, nothing ever goes wrong. It's like, ok, wait, but it's possible. When he gets to be 12 or 15, it's going to trigger something in your memories great expectations and something that happened to you at that age or something that you think, ok, that's fine for nine-year-olds, but by the time you're 12, you need to know this.

And sometimes that happened different who knows what for different people. Well then we said let's watch for that, and a lot of people started coming in and reporting OK, everything was fine. And then at the age that my parents got divorced, or at the age that I was in the hospital, or at the age that I got an award at school and started getting a lot of attention, then I started getting frit stepped, you know. I couldn't relax anymore. I started being very reactionary. Ok, well, now we know to warn other people about that.

19:10 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
That was cool, I think. In my story as an unschooler it really came as a surprise for me how much it had to be about me. So it wasn't really hard to let the kids do whatever they wanted, except it was hard inside me. I mean, they know how to unschool themselves and I didn't really doubt that they would be able to create a meaningful and fun and interesting day for themselves If I would just stop telling them what to do. But the actual stopping them, stopping me, that was the hard part.

And in the beginning I was in this mindset of mothering being me doing things for my children, helping them with things, a service kind of role that I played and I had a hard time In the beginning. I found it sort of selfish in a way. Do I really have to think so much about me? This is not about me. I want my kids to thrive. I'm like I have my wounds and bruises and I'm fine. We can look at that in 20 years when they're adults. And this whole shift of the mindset that I had to work on me and pay attention to me, that was I don't know everything. It was very hard for me to actually go into that gear because I found it irrelevant or selfish or I don't know Really weird, but it has been the most important element really.

20:53 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
I think, a lot of parents.

they want it to be easy and not take much time. So when they find out that the time it takes is a time that you might have been sleeping or watching a movie, it becomes a little bit intrusive. Once the parents start to untangle themselves and recover. They didn't expect that, but usually by then they're committed to unschooling because their kids are having success, their kids are having fun, and then, if it happens gradually and naturally, it's helpful. But yeah, they didn't expect they're going to have to do all that personal examination or work.

21:27 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I didn't. I didn't either, I didn't say, even though I didn't know about it. I thought it would be sort of like a side effect thing, but it really does take sense of stage. It's all very often what it's about my oldest son, who is now 18, he says sometimes why are you guys making a podcast about unschooling? You don't know what it is. You were not unschooled. I'm the expert here and he's right. But then, on the other hand, the listeners are not the unschooled children but the other parents who were in school and want to unschool. So it goes back into this element of de-schooling how we understand what we're doing and how we try to do something for our children.

22:19 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
What are you providing for them and what are you avoiding for them?

And I Pam sorry. Joyce Federal described it really well one day. She said the kids aren't on schooling, they're learning. The kids are learning, the parents are on school because they're providing them. That's what the unschooling is is seeing how learning can take place with certain circumstances and providing those circumstances. The kids don't need to know all about that. Holly did so.

My kids are Marty, holly and Kirby. That's not the right order Kirby, marty, holly. They were within five years of each other, so ch-ch-ch-ch. Kirby didn't care. I mean he kind of knew what was going on. He just answered interviewers' questions sometimes and done fine, but he didn't really care. And Marty didn't really care. But he went with me to a conference when he was 13 and he said Mom, I didn't know, you knew all that stuff. So that's you know, he was just oblivious, politely oblivious, and that's fine.

Holly, though, from the time she was very little, would hang around with the moms and hear what they were saying and she was always really interested in other people's houses. If she went to visit somebody else's house she would come back and report If someone had their silverware, like we do. You know they have it like this. She just was interested in the fact that people could just choose how to organize their houses, their kitchens, their bedrooms, and rules about the dirty clothes go by the washing machine or in the something in your room. She just she cared.

So she saw unschooling that way too. Different families did things different ways and she was fascinated. So she's always known a lot about it, but not because she was unschooled, but because she was interested and she liked to talk to moms. She liked to talk to other moms, so that that was interesting for me to see three different kids Exposure to being unschooled. And one time, one time, a reporter asked Kirby, how is this compared to school? And Kirby said I have no basis for comparison. So that could be a response to your son too. It's like, well, what do you know? In a way, because this is your life, your learning, your living, a life of learning, your suffering through trying to change ourselves enough to not mess that up.

24:24 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)

24:27 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
One of the things I see when I look at our children and that's why I may be in doubt what of it is through unschooling and what of it is just through parenting and seeing some kind of mirror in yourself with them growing up, and is I see them grow up with so much more confident confidence than I had where, and and part of that I take to be from the unschooling, from not being forced to be in a classroom with 24, 28 others where you kind of needed to survive and my survival strategy was being fun and outgoing and very social, and and I can see that now how my children are so much more in sync with who they are and that is the healing part for me to look, look at them and to see can you be like that when you're 15. That is okay. Maybe I still have some parts I can grow on. Maybe I don't need to try to impress people all the time when I talk with them. Maybe I can learn to chill some more and where, with the whole learning part, I have always learned through making projects in my mind.

I didn't, I didn't have a lot of interest in school. I survived and had did okay, but I've never really been in doubt of the learning after the first few years. So for me, what I see is what it the difference of growing up in a school environment and growing up for yourself, the difference it makes in the how, how they are in themselves, how they are being. I find that very fascinating and I'm trying to learn from that. Still, they know who they are on a level I didn't.

26:43 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
Humans need a hierarchy. We don't know how to act If we don't know in a situation whether it's just a family or party or a classroom, who's who like, who's who like this. It's. It's not something that people would like to prescribe or create, but it can't. I don't think it can be helped. So if, if school wasn't so long and irritating and constant and like it is, then it would be easy because the kids would be the kids and the teachers would be the alpha people that they listen to. But it becomes. The relationships in school don't usually become students with teachers, but it's students with other kids, which is okay, it's not a crime. But so within that group of 24 28. There becomes a hierarchy and people know who are the good guys, who are the bad guys, who are reliable, who's smart, who's wounded, and then sometimes that causes problems. But even in the absence of problems, even if those kids are all like, calm and accepting, and relationships still exist. So you're building a culture, sort of Lord of the flies style, in a way. You know, minus the island and the cannibalism or whatever.

When I was a teacher I knew that to manage that group I only needed to influence a couple or three kids. I knew which kids, if they go, if they understand, if they accept, if they're be quiet or whatever it is I need them to do, if they will come over here to the gym now, quickly, that the rest will go. So I didn't try to make a speech to all of them to persuade them. I just told those few leader type kids the kids that the other kids wanted to be with, and like we need to do this today, we need to go over here at this certain time, let's go. It's like if you have a pack of hunting dogs or sled dogs, you know which one, which dog to talk to and the other dogs will come. So that's. That can seem a little cold hearted and clinical, but it was easier and better than creating a situation where some of the kids didn't want to go because there's a reactionary energy in there too, like, oh well, she wants us all to do this, oh huh, not going to do that. So I just it was a weird kind of crowd management trick that I got, but unschoolers don't aren't involved in that.

They don't get that. They don't, they're not. They don't have to learn those coping skills about how to the teachers almost become like spies or jailers or something like. They're a different level of person, they're not in the social group, they're outside of it. So teachers are treated with suspicion, and rejection is not cool to hang around with them.

In general some kids do and get away with it, but depending on the kid, so that there's this whole thing that people who went to school know, whether they thought about it and analyze it or not, they they're familiar with.

And so then when, when an unschooled family is out and and people come and say, what great are you? And they go I'm I don't go school Immediately. They're like outside of that whole thing and they're used to respecting their parents because their parents have earned some respect or their parents aren't threatening them or scaring them off or controlling them to the point that they want to be where their parents aren't. So they're able to interact with all kinds of ages and kinds of people on a one to one basis, without saying, oh I'm sorry, you're in a grade higher or lower than I am, so I am required to defer or bully or whatever based on that. They don't have any of that. So that whole school overlay being gone, their interactions with each other, with their siblings, with their parents, with their neighbors, is just a whole different thing. It's awesome to see it.

30:38 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I remember so this is something like 10 plus years ago when we started, when I finally found out to change gears and see, okay, I need to do a lot of inner work If this is to be what I wanted to be and I accepted that and my next problem was so now, what am I just ruining everything all the time because I haven't done that these schooling work yet? And my question is if we could talk about how to avoid that stress. When you're beginning, you know you're going to make some rookie mistakes. You know you haven't detangled all of your stuff that is your schooled mind but you want to unschool your children. How can we feel okay about ourselves and what are the pitfalls maybe to avoid? How can we make sure we don't ruin things while we do the inner work? I mean, the inner work has to be done and it takes time. Last week I've seen nine questions on top of each other. Do I make some?

31:53 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
No, I got it the other day, I think, on radical unschooling info, the group on Facebook. Somebody said I need help to de-school. You know what do I need to do? And so people are throwing stuff out. You know what helped them? And I said do these things, you know, roll back a little bit, watch what they're doing, give them choices, give them a chance to just play, just play, and meanwhile don't screw it up.

And somebody who'd been in the group for less than two weeks responded and said well, sandra, I really like your ideas, but don't screw it up is a little too harsh, don't you think? And I said nope, because that's the whole thing. Parents need to do is not screw it up. And she's talking about de-schooling. So every time a parent comes in and goes oh okay, I'm really worried, let's do math today, or okay, okay, I'm really worried. So you need to try to learn to read. I did that. I did two and a half reading lessons with my oldest when he was six and he was in tears and I regret it now. Like right now, I just got emotion about it. I'm not gonna like cry or anything, but yeah, it's not good.

So if parents go back and forth too much, they do screw it up because pretty soon the kids don't trust that they're gonna leave it alone. They assume that they're gonna go back. So the kids don't relax and unschooling. Why should they get their hopes up? Why should they bother to play or else they binge like crazy. They go crazy and start watching all the TV on earth and don't go to bed and stuff because they think any day now their mom's gonna take it back, that their mom went temporarily crazy and said okay, you don't have to do lessons and you know you can. You can wake up when you want to. And they don't trust the mom. So if the mom doesn't calmly and gradually change things and stay there, then it's not going to really work. It's not gonna take hold. And some moms that have gone back and forth ten times I'm just three. I think three is about the limit. I don't know. I'm just making this up now. Don't anybody quote that three.

It's not like after three, give it up many it's too many for the mom to not be able to even try to relax. You know, try to not talk about school for a week. How about that? Just try, you might think about it, but keep it to yourself and then gradually start not thinking about it instead of thinking about school all the time you're not there anymore. Are you still at school? Are you sitting in the principal's office looking out the window, unschooling your kids from there? Don't do that. Step away from the school. Don't look back over your shoulder at the school. Keep walking so emotionally and mentally, move toward where your kids are. If your kids are having a really good time talking with their little stuffed animals or whatever, they don't do that in school, so it must not be important, don't you know? Stop stop thinking that. See what they are doing. What are they learning? Their storytelling and language and acting. Maybe I don't know. You know there are things that are happening. When kids are doing that. They're processing their own ideas.

I remember getting in trouble one time because I was playing in the, in the closet floor, with some little animals, toys, dolls, and I said they and one of the kids is where's, where's papa, my grandfather, where's papa? Papa's dead. And my mom flipped out and she blasts in there and starts saying what are you doing? I didn't have another doll to play papa. I didn't have one. You know, if I had another, another doll, maybe papa I'd been alive. I don't know. You know it was just the practicalities of the moment and and she, you know, don't ever wish that somebody was dead. Years later I found out what personal trauma of hers this had to do with, but it didn't have anything to do with me, when I was four and playing in the closet floor. So anyway, yeah. So even without unschooling, sometimes parents can swoop in and throw their trauma down and you don't even know what's going on. So unschooling parents have a great danger of doing that, because they're it's not. It's not.

35:41 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
It's not personal family trauma about death, it's just little trauma about school yeah, but what is it with the whole de-schooling and being an unschooling parent that helps heal you as a person? And I don't know if I should be able to find some example, but I've just talked with a lot of unschooling parents and they, a lot of them, say that they find it healing for their own, both relationship to how it was to learn, but also on personal levels yeah, I know before I was on.

36:18 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
I went through two. I was in two organizations, both of which required some personal reflection. One was adult children of alcoholics. It's related to Al-Anon, to AA and Al-Anon, and so it was. I've been to AA meetings with my mom years back and and the alcoholics they're really rough with each other. It's like you know. So you screwed your life up, you screwed your family's life up. You need to stop, stop, don't do any anymore this. But with the adult children of alcoholics it was. You didn't screw your own life up, but you need to not pass that on. It's possible to pass on those bad behaviors even if you're not drinking, even if you don't drink at all, and it's unfortunate that this happened to you, and alcohol is difficult to deal with.

So now what? So it would be yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Now what? And that's what unschooling is yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

School, blah, blah, blah, trauma. Now what and that's helped me a lot when people will come and go? Well, you know, I took him out of school because this thing happened, and the principal said this and I said how many times have you told this story, though? How many times are you going to continue to step away? So I was always saying, yeah, yeah, yeah, come over here where the kids are playing, be there. And so I think it helps people not to be stuck, not to wallow, not to identify as a kid who was harmed by school, not to not to live there in the shadow, in the sad, harmful shadow of school.

I did well in school. I liked it. I played it like a video game. You know. It was like, oh, they want me to do this and they'll give me an a on a piece of paper. Who I want that? You know why. But I did, and so I. My school trauma came when I realized that every time I got an a, somebody else didn't like it was easy for me to be the top of the class, it was easy for me to pass tests without studying very hard. And then I thought there are some of those kids who were b students who would have been thrilled to one single time get the highest grade in that class and I was.

I took it for granted and so then I started to feel guilty. And what about the kids who couldn't even get a, b? And then I, and when I was teaching, I felt bad about getting bad grades. I did not like it and I taught for six years. So my de schooling had to, had to, include all of those years. So a kid who's been to school for two years is going to be de schooled by Christmas, you know, or whatever, depending on the time. Yeah, but the parents who went to school for maybe 10 or 13 years, plus university, plus maybe they taught or they had their kids in school all of those years, are that parent, that adult now having school infused into them? All of them? They were school kids in the summer because they were on vacation thanks to school. They were school kids all year. They went to bed or not because of school. They got a new backpack or not because of school, like all their life was based on school. And strangers say what you know? Where do you go to school? You like your teacher? What grade you in? So to have kids who don't have that?

Maybe the sometimes the greatest danger to the kids unschooling progress is the parents having a relapse. So don't screw it up was not bad advice. That was good advice. Don't don't disturb the piece of their plane, because it needs to be calm and continuous, needs to be something they can count on, calmly, that they just accept that that's how life is, that they will learn that learning is fun, that it's easy, that everything ties in together and the and. So when parents see that sometimes the parents go, I wish I had been in school. I really wish my life had been like this. I wish my parents had been like I'm being now, that by itself is kind of healing, like the fantasy of having had a more patient, more accepting parents. I think can be like a little hot tub of. I don't know, is that fair to say that imagination is healing, but I guess in a way it can be.

40:23 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Not totally, totally because you're so professional, totally never too late to have a good childhood. Okay, okay, good, I think we can. We can, we can easily say that and I think you're totally right. But I do remember back when I was a beginner on spooler and I would have my at least internally my relapses more frequently. The three things I would need was to remember to be soft on myself. I'm having a relapse, it's okay, just calm down, pretend it's Sunday, think about it tomorrow, this whole peaceful thing, instead of beating myself up about it. Just be a little more kind. The other thing was I would make sure I had a friend to call, someone who was also an unschooler, so I would have someone to talk to as they grew up my children, I actually just talked to them about it. They got to know me in this.

I'm from a family of academics and I was in high school, university, the whole thing. It's very hard for me to imagine this life outside of it. Sometimes I relapse into thinking oh curriculum, oh academia. They were pretty young when they started to understand. Sometimes mom's having a relapse, I didn't go buy school books, but I would sit down and talk to them about it.

Today I just feel like shit about this whole thing. I have all my doubts and all my fears in it. Can we? How about we make some popcorn and take out some blankets and watch a movie and hug a whole lot and we can sit here and be together and I'll get over it, I promise, at some point. This is well. I don't know how many people this will work for, but I think this guilt feeling and this feeling when you say don't screw it up, I mean the me 10 years ago would have been fearful after getting that piece of advice, even though it's the right thing to say. I would be so afraid that I would screw things up. That would just make things worse on a bad day. In order to not screw it up, have a plan for those days where you might screw it up. I think that's what I'm trying to say.

42:50 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
And I sent some links to go with this Absolutely Because something Skylar oh no, it was Rippy Dusseldorf. Rippy wrote something she said one time I had said well, if it doesn't work, you can always put your kids in school. And it wasn't. I wasn't saying it's not going to work for you, you might as well put your kids in school. I was saying it's not when people step away from the schools and they decide to unschool. If it doesn't work, you could put your kids back in school. That's not mean, that's not hateful, that's like we haven't really left the planet. Right, we're right here, we can just go back, yeah. So I was trying to soothe her like it's okay, it's okay, it's okay. But she took it as she might as well give up and put her kids in school. And what I was trying to say is we can help you step more away from the school so you're not as flipped out. She said she just was really upset. And then she showed that to her friend and said I'm really upset because of this. And she said but don't you think she's saying this? So it was just the interpretation. She saw the interpretation through her schoolie eyes and scared her, but she wrote all that up and how she felt about it. So I want to send you the link to that because it's really inspiring and I could feel guilty, but I didn't feel guilty.

So you're saying about guilt, I don't. You didn't say guilt, but you said something stress. You know the feelings that you have when you're, you know, keyed up and scared. Those are useful because if you weren't scared, why would you change? If you weren't stressed, why would you? So stress is like standing on a wall and you're going to jump. You got to jump one where the other. You can't stand on the wall forever. If you're not stressed, you're just like I lean in on the wall. You could take a napper, you won't change. So the way, the stirring people to the point that you, that you say you don't have forever to do this, your kids are getting older by the day. How many times are you going to relapse? Get over there and do it. Do it. That's not me, that's.

Some people see it as mean because they came for people to say, oh, you're just as good a mother as anybody, don't worry about it. Anything you do, we're sure, is good, because all mothers love their children equally, and don't let anybody else tell you differently. Whatever you feel in your heart is the thing that your children need. It's like hold on. She came here to ask us how to unschool. So what is this balm of don't change anything about? So anytime anybody started that, we would stop them and say you can do that on your own page, you can start your own group to tell people there's nothing to change because they came to us. They came to unschoolers and said help me become an unschooler too.

That takes. Step away from all of that. Step away from people who are telling you there's nothing to change. Step away from the idea that life should look like school. We're right here. You're still in your same house, your kids still on the same couch. Let us help you change your mind. Thought, your mind thought that's not even a word. Your perspective, maybe perspective. Thank you.

46:06 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I don't know. I don't know if you were looking for that word, but it would work for me.

46:12 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
I was making words up, yeah, so. So it turned out. One of the first things that we really saw was improvements in marriages. Because of that, because I said, well, my husband has hobbies, he likes them, it's not hurting anything, let him do it Instead of well, yeah, I know you're working in the garage, but I want you to come and help with dinner. We're going to arbitrary, sort of arbitrary rules that were there. It's like why, why can't you do that? And, out of generosity, to let him finish his woodworking project or whatever he's doing, why can't you support each other's? The parents support each other's hobbies and interests. The same way they're learning to support the kids.

And that was helpful Not only to the person who was offered the generosity and the time and the space, but to the person who did it, because being nicer makes you nicer. That's a truism, that's true. I mean it can't help like better is better. You can't argue with statements like that and so so when we were dealing with a lot of people who had been trained to say you were, the world should be 5050, the world should be fair, don't let anybody push you around. You have your rights. Children's need a lot of me time and you know, there are all these slogans that come along to tell people to be unhappy, stay unhappy and fight.

47:35 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
That's just so precise. That's why I'm laughing. It's really funny. It's really funny Because, oh my God, so we're back to the. Could you be a little kind and relax, yeah?

47:47 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
So it's so, it's so, it's okay. Why? Why it's not? What are you doing? You're doing it because other people told them to they're doing it. When they do that, other female friends of theirs go good job, don't let him push you around. He's a jerk. All guys are jerks. So it's like okay, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. If you're, if you can see your children as individuals with different ideas and different hobbies, and they're humans, and you see them as whole humans.

Let's say this your husband used to be a little boy. He had whatever traumas and problems that he had. He didn't need to be his mean mom. He doesn't need another mean mom. No, so people would jump on me and they would say, oh, I didn't know you were a fundamentalist Christian, which I wasn't and I'm not. They would say I didn't know you were so supportive of marriage. It's like, yeah, yeah, yeah, because we're talking about little kids, I am supportive of marriage. I'm supportive of of people being kind and generous and maintaining an opera, this environment that unschooling needs. And they said so.

You're saying that if a woman is beaten and abused, she shouldn't get divorced. I said that's a jump, isn't it? How about? Yes, some people get divorced. Does that mean that everyone should get divorced so the person who got divorced feels better? Because that's what a lot of divorce is about. I was in a marriage. I don't want to start a story. I was married and divorced in the early 70s. I married a friend of mine because his parents had both died within a couple of years of each other.

49:09 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
And that's a good reason to marriage. Yeah, yeah.

49:12 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
So I knew the family for a long time and they were going to take the kids away from him. So the kids were going to have to go live with their aunt, who didn't want them in another state. And they said, well, it's because you're not married. He was 23 and I was 21. And I said, really is that why my boyfriend had left the country? Because his parents sent him away and I was mad about that and so he wasn't coming back. His parents got him a one-way ticket and blah, blah, blah, blah.

Long story, sorry, but we ended up getting divorced after a few years. But so easy it was to get divorced and so much support to get divorced and I just was shocked. It was like a, it was like a grease slide in those days to divorce. And I read an article with a blog post that a marriage therapist had written and I always thought I would find it again. I have not found it again, but he said the training of marriage therapists in those days was not at all to keep marriages together. It was to encourage people to find themselves self-actualization. Oh, you need to know who you are. You need to know who you are, separate from these other people. You need to find yourself. And so he said they weren't even trying to keep marriages together. Not that I went to a marriage therapist at the time, I'm just saying that the whole culture was like flush, flush marriages.

And it was almost impossible to stay married in the 70s. Every time I see some friends with the 50th anniversary, I'm so impressed because it was almost impossible. So there is that culture. Women will come to other women and go well, just leave him, I'll help you, we'll help you, it'll help you. It's just like the things that people say when a marriage is not going well are no better than those speeches that people give kids at the grocery store, the doctor's office waiting room, where do you go to school? Who's your teacher? Do you like her? It's just a little speech.

50:58 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Oh, you should leave.

50:59 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
You don't need to put up with this. You deserve better. I'll help you. They won't help you, it's just damaging. It's damaging, and when it's damaging to children, then I get cranky.

Oh yeah, I was encouraging people to be nicer to their spouses. Oh, big crime. So I was getting criticized for that, for telling people if you're being nice, you might stay together happily and want to and be glad you do. You might, when you get older, still be with a person who loved you when you were younger that's awesome Instead of being with your second or third husband, who doesn't even really know you very well. Anyway, so that's one of the first changes that became apparent is that Marriages were solidifying, being stabilized, and we didn't expect that. I didn't expect that. And other people are going wow, that's cool, let's collect some stories about that. So that became standard. So then people said oh, sandra doesn't think that single people can unschool. I've had that criticism too.

What I have said is that when people used to call me and say I want to, I really want to homeschool and take my kid out of school, today, on the phone, I put my phone number in a book that was in all the libraries in New Mexico and I would get these phone calls for a while I didn't, and I would say, okay, first of all, do you have an ex husband and someone go? Yes, how hostile, how are his parents living? How hostile. You're like what, what points do you have against you? Because you may not be able to take your kids out of school? Are you married? Are you married? Yes, do you and your husband get along? Yes, and I would be going toward the okay, I can help you. But if it's like, yeah, no, he just left, he hates me, he wants the kids, like, okay, you need to probably look into it, gradually, keep them in school. You know, look at this, I would. I had a whole different speech for people who weren't going to be able to do it.

And when people get divorced I've seen this when people get divorced and immediately the dad says, yeah, no, I, I'm like, unschooling it's great, it's fine, that lasts until he gets a girlfriend who's a teacher or an ex teacher or a whatever, and then he needs to keep her happy and she tells him all the bad stuff about his ex-wife and about how their kids are doomed, and she doesn't really seem to want to get in the mood to be with him unless he pulls his kids out of school, you know, puts his kids in school, I don't know. There are pressures on men sometimes and so you avoid that. If you don't get divorced and you can't not you can't guarantee that you avoid it always, because ex-husbands don't stay by themselves forever maybe, and even if they do, they may not be inclined to help you anymore if they're that mad at you. So there there come spite fights and new influences, and I can't help the fact that there have been many cases where sometimes even with lawyers and judges, those kids are put in school. And it's very sad, very sad, and that that those stories came even later than the. How about you take care of your marriage stories? But so I would go. You need to try to stay married so you can keep on schooling.

Just casually I would say that you know it helps to keep. It helps with your own schooling in more ways than one. It helps that the family is peaceful and calm and nobody's fighting and being insulting. Just the kids will pick that up. If the parents insult each other, they'll either take sides or learn to insult people. It's just all a negativity. So gradually I started to see how much positivity helps and negativity hurts Gradually.

That moved, like the whole the whole idea about making choices. We talked about making choices in another talk back right, but that that came to me from another club I was in. But you move incrementally away. It's not. You're always making a choice from the same place you started. It's like as you become more confident and calm about unschooling matters and about learning outside of school and about being kind, not hurting your kids, you know you're not spoiling them by just being nice and saying yes a lot. The more you get into that space. Now the choices you're making are all within there. It's not. It's the craziest school version of me having to decide with my brand new unschooling self which way to go. You know which choice to make. No, it's is my worst unschooling self arguing with my best unschooling self, but it's all there now. It's all within a, within the range that you wanted to be. So now the choices are not so wildly disparate and shocking and stressful. So the stress gradually goes away as you step away from the stress source, and so the more school stories people tell, or divorce stories or fighting stories, or the more you encapsulate and preserve those negative stories and repeat them, the more they are affecting you. They're staying with you. You're still living there.

And so adult children of alcoholics was very helpful because they said, okay, what happened to you when you were little? What was that? Your mom, her natural best self, or was that alcohol? It's unfortunate, so don't pass that on, okay? And then I went to La Leche League, which was about nursing babies, and nowadays a lot of people have seen babies nurse. But we hadn't. People my age hadn't, and so it was. It was. Yeah, I bet your mom would have if she could have, but doctors used to discourage it.

They do stupid stuff Like tell women to, just before you're going to nurse, wipe off your nipple with alcohol. That's not going to taste very good or feel very good. It's like how many ways can we prevent a woman's natural biological function? Just to do it. Let's just screw it.

It seemed like that seemed like the medical establishment was a little misogynistic. Maybe I don't know, but they said but with a bottle you can measure it and then you know what they ate and how much, and great scientific measurement. So they said that's what your mom did. That's why she did it. It's not evil, she wasn't trying to be mean. There just was really hard not to in the 50s and 40s and 50s, early 60s. So let's do better, let's do different. Can we reclaim and rediscover how this works and how this can work? And so that's. That was also examining why we weren't nursed and why our moms might have, if they had been able to and known, had been encouraged and helped, might have. That would have been better for us. So let's provide better for our babies than we had. So they're very similar, those two things are very similar.

And then when I got really involved in unschooling, it was like oh same deal. What if your parents had not been so supportive of school? So like, if you get my parents said, if you get in trouble at school, you're going to be twice as much trouble at home, okay, well, that's easy for you, isn't it? A little hard for me? But you know it was. It was their theory, that was their threat. And I used to get paid for good grades. Great, I'll do that. You know I now. Now it's better than just an A on a piece of paper. I'm going to get cash, not much.

Get up to the game. It's a video game. You get turned in your points and you get some real money. So I I was predisposed, I suppose, or pre exercised in this idea of if you examine what you wish would happen to you and then provide that for your kids, that's better. Because that that was the similarity between adult children alcoholics and la la chi and also those two clubs were moms helping or not just mom? Adult children alcoholics wasn't just moms, but it was people voluntarily helping each other by sharing their stories and seeing which ones were best. And so that I just passed that on to unschooling Right At a conference in St Louis one time.

And after I talked to this guy came up. He looked kind of like a biker, he looked a little like Jesper. He comes up to me and he goes. I think you're a friend of Bill W. That's like the secret code for alcoholics, anonymous people. Because the original book, the what they call the alcoholics big book or something, a big book was written by Bill W and I said well, my mom is adult children alcoholics. I knew it. I knew it just from the tone of it, I guess from the you know, don't mind, just do better, don't tell us your feelings.

Just do better. I'm sorry about your now. Do better. Yeah, would come and go. Yeah, but I want to be supported. I don't want to be criticized. I want to be told I'm just as good a mom as anybody. You want to be an unschooler? Okay, well, do better. So yeah, I know I have a reputation for being mean, but that's all it is. It's like. It's like I care more about your kids future than your feelings at the moment.

59:48 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Well, this right perspective, though, and the healing will not happen in that pink fluffy yours go to, as mom, as anyone, and all moms love their kids. I mean, the last part is right, but you can make a lot of mistakes in the name of love. So we do need, we need, we need some boundaries there.

01:00:15 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
Based on advice from other people's resentment. Some people don't want to see another family happy and they try to sabotage it because they're not as happy. It's a mean human trait and mostly a female trait. Sorry to pull someone else down, there's this. I don't know if you guys have a saying in Danish, but in English it's misery loves company misery loves company.

01:00:42 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
No, we don't say that. Do we have something like that? No, we don't. Wow yeah but it's true though.

01:00:52 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
So good for you not having that you don't have to overcome that.

01:00:59 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
It's a human trait, just not put in that way.

01:01:01 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
I don't know, I don't know phrases that we have to stop giving ourselves like reject that phrase.

01:01:08 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
But I do think that the question everything framework of unschooling, it is really the unraveling.

Once you start, you remove the idea of school, you remove the idea of curriculum, you start to undrudge all the things you judge and, at least by being aware of the judgment, unraveling also becomes, becomes of everything, including the relation we have with each other and but the healing process of understanding. I have this perspective, but someone else might have another perspective, and this is my project and and my truth is not necessarily true for everyone. This, this mindset has been very healing for us, I think, and also for our relations outside of the family. Just knowing this is right for us and we're not going to be missionaries about it. Whatever is your but, but, but I mean I can say to someone else that's your reality, it's not mine and not very hostile way. Just that's not how I see things, that's not how I understand the world, but I do believe in your freedom more than in in my truth being true for everyone. I think that has helped a lot with our Relations Outside of our core family.

01:02:40 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
And what all my wife said I agree with, because I was sitting and waiting for saying this about the. It is the question everything of on schooling. When I look at it, that I think is helping one to to heal past traumas and stuff, and Sometimes I can still see myself saying something and I'm like but do you actually believe that? Yes, but are you saying it eight because it sounded good, or be because it is have been instilled in you to during school, during growing up, and you have learned this is how it is. But now I now I'm more or less always in the question everything should I believe that?

01:03:28 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
no, I believe I was a child that's also was very questioned, a lot of stuff, and then but the thing that what I was trying to say is just, we are talking about healing still, and one part of healing is to not destroy things. You know how? About creating a world where we don't need all that healing because we're not mean, because we're giving each other space, because we're respecting each other. So when we question our, our truths and our judgment, we, that leaves for space for for other people. I liked the thing you said about marriage and letting allowing I mean even even the wording of allowing your husband to do his project not your personal husband, but the husband in a fiction relation to do his projects in the garage.

We who are these women of the 70s, that would be my mom to say you have to come and do the dishes. I mean, it's her standard of the dishes that they have to be done. Now that they had we could have a sandwich, you know, we didn't need to eat from plates. So if that's the who sets those ground rules, do we really have to do the dishes before we go to bed, or could we do it tomorrow? It's it's. I think there wasn't the 70s, maybe, I know it was harsh.

01:05:02 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
It was harsh.

01:05:02 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
It was harsh and it was the women's world. Now they rule everything.

01:05:07 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
It's not. That's another whole political.

01:05:10 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yeah, maybe we should go there. Running out of time, let's talk next time.

01:05:16 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
People have said to me don't you think everyone should unspeakable? I know only people who really want to and really can. You don't want to or you can't know, don't stay away from it, because it'll only make you unhappy to have wanted something you can't have. So that's surprised some people. Sometimes they they expect me to be, like you said, a missionary, that I want everybody to do it. Nope, I want to stay over in my little corner and help people for free if they want to. At the sun came out behind me and I've disappeared, I think, sorry for anybody's trying to look at me. And then there's a tree moving and it's making the sun coming up.

01:05:49 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
It is a windy, sunny episode, but most of people listen to it, so it's okay.

01:06:01 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
It's just distracting me now. My son behind me, sorry.

01:06:05 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
It's okay.

01:06:07 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
I think that the healing is partly in people relaxing and seeing that they can be nicer, to give themselves permission to be nicer to other people husbands, neighbors, people at the store. Why do you have to be so harsh and, you know, wound up, so wound up, wound up like you're going to blow on somebody? It's okay to make a lower level of your baseline emotion and you should probably remember that your kids have that lower level too, so they're not throwing that much. Oh, that, we're in a different topic. We're talking about adrenaline and gaming.

It's not that adrenaline gaming on top of already keyed up because school is frustrating and they have to go to soccer practice and have an hour and they'll have an hour. It's not that. It's on top of a calm baseline Now a dream for fun, and then after that back to calm baseline in a while. So I I just it's different. It's different in it. The kids are different, though the whole landscape is different when you don't have that overlay of school schedule and school expectation and measurement and grades is so more, so much more, maybe exciting and maybe more peaceful all at the same time, like it's just a different place, a different scenario.

01:07:29 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
So it gets to be deciding because it's exciting, because we want it to, because we like it, and it's okay to do things that we like. We don't have to do things that we have to do and we can do it while being kind. We there's no war to win. There's no hierarchy of school mates to to become the top or the center person of. We can actually just be kind and okay around people who are kind and okay, which is a very different ball game from the context that we grew up in. That's the reality of it, and maybe the healing happens more or less in and of itself If we try to stay in this realm of allowing for excitement and being kind.

01:08:16 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
People say I want to come here and heal. That's not how it works. You come here and become unschoolers and then you find out a home and heal. Yeah, find out that that is healing, seeing that kind of mom, seeing what you provided for those kids, seeing that you can live in such a way that you're looking at interest in learning and music and mountains in the world, as it is not the world outside the windows that might not be painted at school.

01:08:52 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Beautiful Sandra. I think this is a beautiful way to stop this episode. As always, it's a big pleasure to talk to you. It makes me heal a little inside to keep on the subject. Thanks a lot.

01:09:07 - Sandra Dodd (Guest)
I would love to send you some links to add to this. Thank you so much.

01:09:11 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
We will All the links for some. Thank you for your time today, sandra was. It was very sweet, it was.

01:09:18 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Thank you for listening. We hope you enjoyed today's episode and if you like that, then please share it with all your friends and family. We would also love it if you gave our podcast a review. Thanks, and if you want to support our podcast and work, then you can find us on patreoncom slash the Conrad family. We will continue to travel full time and if you want to tag along, then please follow us on Facebook and Instagram at the Conrad family, and you can also read more than 100 blog posts on our website. The Conrad family. Until next time, make a wonderful day, thank you.


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