Witnessing Respect

by Helen, a Sudbury HK parent. Helen has 3 children, her eldest daughter and second son are adults now. Her youngest son, 8 years old, has been a Sudbury student member for just over a year.

The age gap between my eldest & youngest son is 17 years. My eldest grew up in the mainstream schooling system with an authoritarian style of parenting. With My youngest, I adopted the approach of respectful parenting and Sudbury’s Self-Directed Learning. I often get asked what my youngest son has “learnt” at Sudbury. The story I am about to share is one of the many life lessons that Sudbury has inspired.

Every time my adult son comes home from work, he would need to charge his phone. He cares very little about who was using the charger at that moment and would just unplug the charging phone so he can charge his own! … (How is it possible that he cares so little about how others’ feel?)

A few days passed, my adult son was charging his phone as usual. My youngest son ran over to him and asked gently, “Hey Bro, are you done charging? My iPad is almost dead, may I use the charger please?”

Elder brother replied, “Sure, go ahead.”

As a mother witnessing this interaction, I was very touched and pleased.
What did he learn in Sudbury?
He has learnt how to respect others.

(English translation by Sylvia Lee)