I would add that democracy should only apply, in any situation, to common
activities or property. At a democratic school it would (or should) be
unthinkable to put to a vote of the School Meeting whether I should eat my
pizza from the crust end or from the pointy end. It's my pizza, it's not
bothering anyone else, and should be nobody else's business.
In a home, the property does belong to the parents. The parents do provide
for the financial wellbeing of the group. While I would probably ask my kids
what they wanted in a new car, I would not put its purchase up to a vote of
the group. It's my money and I will spend it as I see fit. Likewise, if my
daughter decides to spend gobs of her hard-earned money on an American Girl
doll, while I will (and do) let her know what my opinion is of this course of
action, she is free to spend her money the way she sees fit.
If my family were to vote to go to see a particular movie that I didn't want
to see, that vote isn't binding on me and I may not go. I may even decide to
withhold my driving services for them. They may decide to find a way to see
it themselves, which would be their right, but they don't have the right to
vote to force me to do something that I don't want to do, so long as I am not
hurting anyone by my inaction or by my alternative choice of actions.
This is true democracy and can just as easily be applied to the home as it
can to the school environment.
Alan Klein ... AlanKlein@gnn.com
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