This is a guest post from Satya Khan. She is one of my favorite writers. She writes memoir in the form of a newsletter. You can subscribe to her emails at Unfolded Note

I still sleep at the foot of the bed. Each night as their bodies grow quiet, my children reach their limbs over mine, pinning me down in their quest for comfort. When I am here, they can never have enough. Inch by inch as they grow heavier, I slither down toward open space like a weed.

When we are home together — and we’re home together a lot — I don’t get down on the floor like a good parent would. I mostly try to hide in an empty room until they find me, which doesn’t take long. I exist best in silence and stillness, but my son operates on a steady diet of chatter. And his will is stronger than mine.

So I enroll him in kindergarden for the fall, at a school that is barely a school at all. It’s their first year as a charter, and they don’t have a playground, a library, or a nurse. What they have is a giant forest, with a creek running through. And there’s a wooden platform, which is too tall for my son to climb. At the open house, he spends the whole time trying to figure it out. He directs his will toward the challenge, which for once, does not involve me. He decides he likes this school. And I do, too.

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57 replies
  1. Home Ed Dad
    Home Ed Dad says:

    While we aim to home school our son, there is this “forest school” that we’ve been considering for one day a week and from your post it sounds like it would be good. They spend a lot of the time exploring the outdoors – but what do such schools do when it’s really really cold?

    Just about to start the home ed journey and also wanted to thank Penelope for her education perspectives, and the other interesting things on the website.

  2. Jenn Gold
    Jenn Gold says:

    I enjoyed this too. Her writing style is almost like poetry in my head, rhythmic.

    A question though – what’s the purpose of comments like these? “I don’t get down on the floor like a good parent would. I mostly try to hide in an empty room until they find me, “. So, in those moments, are you a bad parent? And if so, by extension, your reason for sending your son to school? Do you feel like a bad parent when u send him off?

          • Katarina
            Katarina says:

            Sorry to have sounded so literal and nit picky. I’m not very successful in my comments on blogs as my meaning does not always come across in the tone I had intended. I truly do not relate to the author’s feelings, but I fully respect them and understand that she and many people feel that way. I do not think there is anything wrong with her feelings. The word “everyone” leapt out at me as this blog usually features long explanations of why Penelope believes people should not send their kids to school. I was confused by the whole thing and should have left it at that. No harm was meant in any way from the author, the commenter or me. Sorry for the slight nuisance here! (I am sincere.)

      • Jenn Gold
        Jenn Gold says:

        A big generalization. Perhaps this applies to you but I dont think this is true of most ppl. Needing some alone time is not equivalent to Not being a good parent. And if she is sending her kids to school mostly for the Alone time she needs, then let’s call it that – babysitting. No judgment here. But call a spade a spade. And no, not everyone feels that way.

    • Jennifer Jo
      Jennifer Jo says:

      I spent my children’s early years in a desperate and constant quest to find some alone time (I didn’t play with them, either—that’s what they were supposed to do with each other), and I still am enormously protective of my me-time. Taking care of myself is one of my highest priorities. I don’t feel guilty about that.

  3. Jennifa
    Jennifa says:

    I love Satya’s writing and get her Unfolded note via email.

    I recognized this passage within the first coupla’ lines. My first thought was, why is Penelope hanging out bait for her sharks?

    I gobble up Satya’s emails as soon as they come out. They are like tiny tea breaks during my workday.

  4. jessica
    jessica says:

    I sent my kid to a psuedo school aka sudbury for one week.

    In that week he was in the presence of violent-game crusading cursing (the rule is they can curse freely) 16 year olds. Sure, he ran around outside, he did whatever he felt inclined to do, but he also went before the judge more times than once learning the rules and nuances they self democratcized. If they didn’t like how he was adjusting they ‘wrote him up’ for breaking some ridiculous three second rule or not correctly filing in the time sheet to go outside.

    To me, the break came when at the interview portion with the admin one of the staff asked if my then 5 year old had been arrested. To which my son replied, no.

    There is common sense and I found Sudbury had non. It was just another place to drop off the kid and have a break under the guise that you are doing right by them because its not ‘real school’.

    Give me a break.

    • Amy A
      Amy A says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience.

      Once upon a time, I was feeling all dreamy about Sudbury. I considered enrolling my kids in a private “democratic” free-range school.

      But then I thought long and hard. And concluded it would be like throwing my kids to the wolves (unless perhaps they were teenagers and could hold their own). Sorta “lord of the flies.” But with meditation and art mixed in.

  5. YesMyKidsAreSocialized
    YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

    This may be something only I experienced after reading this post, but I don’t get it. I feel confused.

    The only thing I could put together was that Satya was registering her son for a public charter school Kindergarten because she likes alone time and her son talks a lot.

    Did I miss something? Someone help me understand.

    • jessica
      jessica says:

      I think that sums it up.

      My kid was happy going to school too, kids at that age are generally compliant to the will of the parent and they adjust as needed.

      So after all the hassle of figuring out the school puzzle and what kids really need I found I needed to bend my needs a bit more to suit his, because I am the adult after all. It shouldn’t be the other way around.

      • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
        YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

        I think for Satya, she hasn’t experienced school yet, and maybe her experience will be different than yours and mine.

        I never planned on homeschooling or unschooling. This wasn’t the plan I had laid out. The kids were going to be in school and I was going to be a stay at home mom living a different sort of life.

        So when school time came several years ago, I enrolled my oldest child in Kindergarten, in a traditional private school setting. It was not ideal for her and now that I have three kids I see that a traditional environment won’t work for any of them.

        My youngest of the three is like an adorable and lovable tasmanian devil cartoon character. I would LOVE to have a break from her a few days a week so I can really focus on my older kids. But I know the moment she steps foot into pre-k she will be pathologized with ADHD, ODD, and PDD by a bunch of semi-professionals. So she stays home with us and I lovingly refer to our family as an insane asylum. No dull moments here. I wouldn’t trade it for anything though. I can fly my mom down to watch the kids when or if I need a break.

    • Amy K.
      Amy K. says:

      Wondering too! Public school is referred to as “free babysitting” constantly on this blog. How is this different?

      • Penelope Trunk
        Penelope Trunk says:

        wow, you guys. Satya knows that. She knows it’s free babysitting and she sees it that way. She is admitting that she is using school for a parenting break- not education. And she says is beautifully. With subtle, elegant writing.

        Penelope

        • Amy K.
          Amy K. says:

          I’m not anti-school. I’m happy she has something that works for both herself and her son.

          But it’s public school. Charters are beholden to Common Core in CA. Even if there’s lots of good stuff like heavy outdoor time and free play. By 2nd grade there will be standardized tests.

          • Amy A
            Amy A says:

            Speaking of charter schools, Diane Kepus and Charlotte Iserbyt have written some interesting things about charter schools.

            Federal govt and corporate control (including all the computerized assessments, training and data-mining) make local choice (locally-elected school boards, local teacher input) and parental awareness pretty much obsolete.

            Even as a babysitting service, it might not be worth it.

        • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
          YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

          I wasn’t criticizing Satya’s choices or calling it free babysitting. I think I am not used to reading this type of particular writing style and was wondering if I missed something. Next time I will refrain from commenting if I don’t understand.

          • Amy A
            Amy A says:

            Aw, I’m sure it’s no biggy. Anyone who guest-posts on here has got to have major backbone. You keep on stirring the pot.

          • Jenn Gold
            Jenn Gold says:

            A guest post in a home education blog that is analyzed thoroughly is hardly surprising. People dont read this blog for the artsy aspect of writing. Each post causes a good amount of internal stimulation adn cause for introspection in the reader… that’s the effect of your writing style Penelope and usually with topics that perhaps hadnt been seriously considered yet. Needing a break from the kids and free baby siting via school has already been discussed at length. I too struggled to get the point. Instead, I wondered if she was lamenting feeling like a bad parent?. Maybe the type of ppl reading this blog love to dissect everything lol!

          • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
            YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

            Jenn, you are right on. I wasn’t sure if I was correct in my assessment of her points, or if that she was feeling like a bad parent. I don’t think she is a bad parent. Her writing style is like an art form, whereas if it were me I would write what she said in like three sentences. :)

  6. Commenter
    Commenter says:

    I think school presents a nice opportunity to get your noisy wee ones off your hands a few hours a day. A few is all you get because of how much of that time is either eaten up by extra driving or extra school-imposed obligations.

    I couldn’t criticize anyone for this intention – and at this point all the poster has is the intent, not the experience – but without any actual experience, this is a rather thin post.

    My 4 year old is enjoying herself very much in a half-day ‘school’ where they play, walk goats around the farm, sing songs, and make art all morning. But I have my doubts about whether any available school can continue this ease without getting all bound up with ideas of what all kids must learn at any particular time. I saw this as one of the problems when my 10 year old went to school. I wish one could count on schools to first do no harm. But the nature of the institution is Procrustean.

    I’ll be more interested to hear from this poster one year in, when she has more to talk about than feelings.

  7. Karelys
    Karelys says:

    If the school is a safe environment why not?

    Use it as a tool.

    Preschool and kinder are only a few hours a day. Similar to hiring a sitter so the parent can go to the store, with friends, to the gym, or to read quietly. For self care and development.

    I’ve mentioned this before, Washington state has very friendly homeschool laws. If my children enjoy joining the sports team and taking a few classes then sure, i would take advantage and use those resources. It would afford alone time for the parent as well.

    Unschooling is not antischool. It’s about choosing how education is going to be. And if part of it is using school as a resource and a tool, why not?

    • Amy K.
      Amy K. says:

      I agree with you on all counts. I also think it’s fine to send your kids to school while you go to a regular old job.

      But even in the most crunchy-granola public school (charter or not), there are guidelines and benchmarks to be met for English Language Arts and Math. It’s not unschooling. If junior isn’t reading by the end of first grade, there’s a problem. Which is totally antithetical to unschooling.

      • Karelys
        Karelys says:

        I know what you mean and I’ve thought about it before.

        I was thinking…parents who aren’t wealthy give up one income and learn to make do with less for the sake of having someone home raising the kids. Adjustment and sacrifice is involved until you find what works.

        I imagine that if the issue of alone time is too big to require outside help with the kids then adjustments need to be made to afford the help. It may be helping the kid along to do the bare minimum to pass. Enroll them part time if that is an option.

        Above all, I firmly believe in including the children in the process of the decision making. Not only they have a say but when things get hard they understand it comes with the territory rather than feeling forced in the situation and feeling like victims.

        I would definitely try preschool or kinder because it’s so little time and it tends to be so relaxed. It Wouldn’t be much different than hiring a sitter to broker play dates and take the kids to the park for 3 hours tops.

        When it comes to higher grades some recalibration would be needed. I asked for indepedent study on some classes just to push boundaries and see if I could sell my idea during senior year of high school. It gave me free time and I would do the work on my terms. I was still subject to school but I found a way to do it independently. I imagine a smart kid with smart parents who advice him to just use the system to his advantage can carve time for himself to work on projects his passionate about while using the school district money, tools, and human resources.

        • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
          YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

          I always wonder about the states that allow homeschoolers to take a class or two in public schools and participate in theater or sports. If I could get my kids art and music for free in public school instead of paying out of pocket for private instruction then I would have more money for other things.

          CA does NOT allow that. Only public school children can participate in public schools. I could join a private school option and do a few classes for that, but again, traditional mindset won’t work for us, and those schools aren’t cheap so add that to the amount of money I already spend on unschooling, time driving everybody around, it all adds up.

          I spend quite a bit to be able to do all of these things.

          I understand wanting a parent break!!! omg, my youngest, Alyssa, drives me up the freaking wall sometimes…but like I said, she would be misdiagnosed as adhd because she can seem like a hyper active child, she is not adhd… she can focus on puzzles for hours without losing concentration. But schools want to diagnose everyone that doesn’t fit the mold or blame your parenting.

          • Amy K.
            Amy K. says:

            I think participating in theater, band or sports within a school setting, without being a student there yourself, would be a big challenge socially/emotionally. It’s different than an afterschool theater program or club sport where kids come from all over town. I know some homeschoolers do fine with it… Tim Tebow, right? But my sons would be too shy.

            There’s always the independent study charter school route in CA, as you know. We use all our funds to send our kids to a one-room schoolhouse type place. And then we pay for another day ourselves. I couldn’t homeschool without it. We were too isolated before we found it.

          • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
            YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

            I hadn’t considered the social/emotional aspect of being involved in a school without being a student, I need to think about that some more.

            We did try the charter route after I pulled my oldest from K. It was still too traditional for us and she was not allowed to work ahead. Like she knew algebra was they wanted her to write her numbers to 30 and then 100, and she was really irritated. It’s like knowing how to read and a teacher wanting you to write the alphabet. Too limiting for us.

            We do acting with children in the community now, and sports are not exactly an option for my oldest two…lol… they tried and it’s just not suited for them. My youngest is totally atheltic though.

            That’s why I was thinking, if I could put the older girls in music, art, and foreign language in public school without them being subjected to testing and unschooling everything else it would be a dream. Then they could keep doing their acting classes as well as the school drama club and theater productions. Keep dreaming… right? I know some states actually allow this, but not CA.

          • Heather Bathon
            Heather Bathon says:

            Hi YMKAS,

            I’m NOT suggesting your youngest has ADHD, but as a quick – and respectfully intended – fyi, people with ADHD are famous for being able to ‘hyper focus’ on something that interests them, for hours. It is in fact, one of the hallmarks of ADHD.

          • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
            YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

            Hi Heather,

            I always welcome discussion!

            I should have stated that she fits none of the diagnostic criteria on the DSM for ADHD. But because of her hyperactivity and sometimes impulsive behavior that alone is enough to warrant a pathology in school, she does not have ADHD.

            Just to add to the hyperfocus discussion, in the studies where hyperfocus was demonstrated those were in cases of rapid movement activities like movies, video games or sports. Also there is no empirical data that supports hyperfocus as an aspect of add/adhd.

            I use the term state of flow instead, everyone in my family has that. :)

          • Heather Bathon
            Heather Bathon says:

            Whether the state of being intensely engaged for extended periods of time is referred to as hyper-focus, flow, perseveration, or some combination of the precise definition of these, the important thing to keep in mind is that having ADHD does not preclude this ability. Most people with ADHD do have this ability and what is often helpful in distinguishing it from the same ability in a non-ADHD person, is the intensity of their reaction if they are interrupted while pursuing it. The scientific term ‘mega shit fit’ comes to mind. Decreased quality of life for other family members comes to mind.
            People often think that ADHD is expressed solely as an inability to focus, thereby eschewing a label nobody wants anyway.
            Personally, applying that label to my child has given me a helpful framework to try to wrap my head around why and how she is so different from the average bear, sometimes in a good way, and often not.

          • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
            YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

            Heather,

            That makes sense.

            I just want to be clear that I am not saying adhd isn’t a real thing. I know that it is and have friends who have dealt with it their entire lives.

            The point I was trying to make, is that a school making a diagnosis is inappropriate and damaging.

            Reading the DSM and the diagnostic criteria for adhd and other disorders has been helpful for me, as well as reading books on common misdiagnosis of gifted children vs their overexcitabilities and asynchronicity.

            I am not against labels as long as they are appropriately diagnosed. In your case and in others it has been helpful, but it a lot of cases the misdiagnosis has been damaging.

  8. Amy A
    Amy A says:

    Years back, my older wanted to try school, 2nd grade. So I let her. Fortunately, my quiet, intrinsically-self-motivated unschooler did well on tests and standing in line.

    But it was a lonely experiment for her. One year at elementary school was enough for her.

    Additionally, I had to be way too involved in the system’s ridiculous hoop-jumping; I absolutely hated it. Of course, I wanted to be a loving presence on behalf of my child. But holy sheet, school cramped my style as an adult and parent, and our family’s too. And I could have cried everytime I stepped foot in the cute little elementary school; I simply suck at ignoring what every cell in my body tells me.

    I tried it one more time when younger wanted to try kindergarten. We lasted two half-days. The teacher was really mean. That’s when I called the Principal and had a long conversation in which, at the end, he all but admitted school sucks and if he wasn’t a school principal, he would probably homeschool too.

    Both of our experiences broke my heart. But the kindergarten one did especially. My bubbly, people-loving, intrinsically-well-mannered child was so enthusiastic and hopeful about the whole experience (plus, willingly ready to figure out and follow their rules) and the teacher botched it big time. My kid went from smiling and positively anticipating to disappointment and crying in two days. Jeez.

    Oh and I totally get that teachers have to teach exactly what they are told in x amount of time. They have a tremendous amount of pressure to cram it in if they want to keep their jobs. Above-mentioned Principal said “no child left behind” was to blame for having their hands tied. Now there is Common Core: the federal government and its powerhouse corporate bosses’ efforts to take away even more local control. What a mess.

    There is a whole lot of rigmarole involved in having your kid in school, beyond all the other stuff going on with the kids themselves which I personally don’t believe in. (Reference my above comment about charter schools.)

    I am all for kids being in school if they want to be. But I am also for parents digging to find out exactly what goes on in school in current times and assisting their kids on a daily basis in dealing with being immersed in it and teaching them how to censor what doesn’t feel right. (That’s another example of how school actually creates more absurd work for families.)

    Another babysitting option is to find a mama’s helper, tween or teen homeschooler, to go into your home to hang with talkative son.

    • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
      YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

      Not to mention the hour of homework every night for my Kindergartner, reading logs I had to fill out and sign, and extra work during the weekends like learning their list of sight words. It got really irritating for me, as a parent and felt like the school was trying to control MY life.

      My daughter also went from being naturally curious about the world to getting sick all the time and crying when I would walk her to class. There was a nice outbreak of lice one day that we were fortunate enough to miss because she was home sick. I wasn’t happy getting the email about the lice outbreak, I’m a HUGE germaphobe.

      The car line to drop off and pick up is always a nightmare.

      Teacher parent conferences where you have to figure out how to put your life on hold and hire a babysitter so you can be there during an awkward time of the day to have the meeting.

      I’m sure I am missing things. There were not enough positives for us to continue down that path and it would have ended sooner but it took me awhile to realize that it definitely was not going to work out.

      • Amy A
        Amy A says:

        Yes, yes, yes. And mandatory-feeling fundraisers. And candy for “rewards”. And bullying on the bus. And no time to eat, with meal time and recess being combined for a total of 30 minutes. And buying school supplies for the entire classroom…

        I completely felt like I was being contolled by school too. (I think some parents enjoy this aspect of school, like they are being involved or something?) I think at that point, I had been out hamster wheel long enough to see the B.S. It was nothing like this for my mom when we were in school. She only showed up at school to raise hell on my rebel brother’s behalf.

        • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
          YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

          omg the dreaded bake sales. I never baked anything, I was so horrible. I think schools cater to kids and parents who are extroverts.

          Bullying is almost in every school. I had to explain to my husband many times that just because he was bullied in school and survived doesn’t mean that it is ok and that our children should experience that just based on him surviving.

          I buy way more school supplies now than I ever did when she was briefly in school. I really look forward to the sales because my kids write their own stories with artwork and go through notebooks so quickly. I get like ten boxes of crayons and as many pencils of the “good” brand that I can. It’s pretty crazy, but even crazier that we use all the materials in less than a year.

          • Gretchen
            Gretchen says:

            Goodness! Where do you people live? Our public schools are nothing like this. Nothing is mandatory, except possibly general attendance. Bake sales, other fund-raisers are optional. I work and can always get teacher conferences at times that are convenient for me. No hour of homework at night (2nd grade). Yeah, there’s a reading log, but it’s online and if we didn’t fill it out, I don’t imagine it would be the end of the world. My kid’s a little wacky (an eccentric, creative type) and the teacher makes concessions and is very kind. I’m not very involved in the school at all because I don’t enjoy that sort of thing, though I am very involved in my kid’s academics via school (overseeing homework, making sure she’s doing the work she should). It’s all pretty fine. I wonder how many people actually have sent their kids to school at all vs how many are basing things on urban legends or horror stories about schools? Or maybe we’re just really lucky with our school…

          • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
            YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

            Gretchen,

            I’m glad your daughter’s current grade teacher is making accommodations for her.

            I have lived many places, and looked at many different schools including traditional and progressive private and public as well.

            Currently living in Southern CA in the Los Angeles area, so things are not so peachy here for many school kids. These are kids with no options.

            Kids with options are in private school, living in “multi-millionaire” public districts or homeschooling.

            I can relate to having a quirky kid at least.

    • mh
      mh says:

      Amy, principals always blame something outside their control. Their job is to hide problems from the public.

      Superintendent’s job is to get the taxpayers to shell out more For The Children.

      Teacher’s job is to control 25 kids and complain about the pay, the parents, and the system. Nobody complains more than teachers.

      • redrock
        redrock says:

        well – pay is pretty lousy for teachers considering the hours worked and that it is a pretty stressful job overall. And I think they should get extra pay for many parents simply blaming everything which does not go super with their kids on the teacher.

        • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
          YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

          nah, these are people with liberal arts degrees and a credential. I’d rather have an actual degreed individual with real applicable experience like in high schools. You have actual math teachers with math degrees, english teachers with english degrees, etc. In K-5, and I know from experience, there are a lot of low IQ’s in the industry. Some people can’t even spell correctly. Some just pass out worksheets and do nothing during the class. No, of course I don’t mean everyone is in that category, but shockingly it is more than acceptable. Also, in my former district in Northern CA teachers were making 65k a year, with summers off and decent benefits. That seems acceptable to me for k-5. It seems like schools are more of a jobs program to keep producing teachers. I actually like teachers, I am not anti teacher, I am pro-education and sadly most teachers can’t do anything about the situation that they are given except maybe go to a private school to teach to actually be the teacher they want to be.

  9. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    Satya is a beautiful writer who says things in a way that is more like poetry than perhaps what we are used to reading here. I think what she’s saying is that it’s maybe ok to send your child to school of that’s what you need at that moment. Life changes. She may decide otherwise later, but even if she’s sending him to school for a break, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Better a happy mom than one who is run down and avoiding her kids? I dunno. It sounds fine to me.

    • Karelys
      Karelys says:

      It sounds to me like how all of us play around with ideas and possible solutions until we find what works until it doesnt work anymore. Then you’re trying again.

      Penelope talks about this often with the cello struggle. Everyone announces their opinion and cannot believe she wont try it. I think it’s because it doesnt fit in the larger context of their goals. It’s not easy that’s why she’s still wrestling with it.

      Satya is wrestling with this issue finding a way to stay true to herself. By being poetic.

  10. Carrie
    Carrie says:

    Please can someone help me! I make no judgement that sending your child to school allows a break. I do make judgements when parents choose to homeschool on behalf of a child rather than with their child. My niece is 6 and is home schooled. She cannot socialise (yes the dreaded word) and she takes herself away from other children. The decision to home school was made as Mum would miss her child. Crazy. I get so fed up of there being no recognition from homeschoolers that it’s sometimes done for selfish reasons.

    • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
      YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

      I was socialized in school and still have a hard time socializing with people, I am an introvert and prefer being alone.

      My oldest daughter is also an introvert and shuns any child her own age and prefers interacting with tweens and teens even though she is only 8 years old.

      How is wanting to spend time with your child selfish? That seems like a bizarre perspective to me.

    • Amy A
      Amy A says:

      Again, age six is so young.

      I went to 13 schools growing up, both public and private. I was still ‘shy.’ I’m not shy anymore, by any means. But I still don’t get pumped-up from being around people all the time.

      What’s wrong with not wanting to be around people much? If you’re into exploring this question, check out the book _The Highly Sensitive Person_.

      My older child would never play with others in the groups I created (I created the groups for both my kid and me to have people interaction). It wasn’t until she was around age 11 or 12 that she started to have an interest in interacting much with other people besides family and a couple neighbor kids. She’s very mature for her age, intelligent, reflective, gentle and caring.

      Homeschooling is about family. The dynamics in a family can be hard to understand to outsiders. Wanting to be with ones child isn’t ‘selfish.’ What young child doesn’t want to be valued and enjoyed?

      If you are concerned about the *extreme* of wanting to be with ones child, such as emotional incest, I’m sure it exists with both schooled and homeschooled kids (I know two adults who were parented this way; both went to school).

      My two-cents for any outsider concerned for other people’s children is this: be a support for their *parents* in caring for their own children. And then mind your own business.

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