RE: Child Labor
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 1996 23:10:37 -0600
Do you folks do any non-business meeting format stuff, like sharing circles? 
What can work really well for loaded issues to is come together to have a 
non-decision discussion of just feelings.  Resentment is a very powerful, 
anti-community force that in my opinion SHOULD BE DEALT WITH, not ignored. 

At Sharingwood there are no participation expectations for anyone, people 
partipate as they see the need, both community and personal. This means some 
folks do more than others, but, in theory anyway, it's because they want to, 
not because they have to. 

Kids help out on random occaisions, as they want to. Since we don't coerce 
adults to contribute I am not sure how we could ever expect to do so with the 
kids. We do coerce the kids to clean up the kids room in the commonhouse but 
that's about it.  Very occaisionally a child will help with dinner prep or 
clean up.

Some kids are regular helpers in the garden, and this comes from the adult 
being encouraging and inviting, not demanding. The kids see an interesting 
adult puttering in the garden and then get interested.  Clean up in the 
commonhouse kid space is often done as a game (we have a couple of teachers 
who do this well). 

You mention there is a group of parents that would love to have their kids 
help if only the community would come up with guidelines.......I am sorry, I 
don't mean to be critical, but why in the world does a community have to have 
"guidelines" in order for a kid to help out? Can no one take any initiative 
and just have their kid start helping as they, the parent see fit, without 
having the whole community make guidelines? That seems like a pretty lame 
excuse to me. Or else, in my opinion, you need to seriously decentralize your 
decision making, so individuals can do things without the community having to 
make a decision about every little everything.

Rob Sandelin
Happy Thanksgiving
  • Child Labor Ann Barbarow, November 27 1996
    • RE: Child Labor Rob Sandelin, November 29 1996

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