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Kids' Council Minutes 05.03.2021

Kids’ Council 05.03.2021

Village School

May 3rd, 2021

Forest Garden

Present

Kids: Meira, Luca, Oakley, Willow, Stone, Forest, Ramona, Gaia, Luuk, Max

Adults: Gabo (facilitator), Mirna (minutes), Bud (Gabo’s dad, guest), Claudia (Gabo’s mom, guest)


Agenda (60 minutes)

05- Meditation

05- Announcements

20-Discussion re:kids and the internet

30-Restorative Circle re: mud fight incident


Announcements

  • The chick is here! We finally have a school pet.

  • Stone will make some kind of tractor coop for the chick so that it can live at school.

Discussion re: kids and the internet

  • The reason we are having this discussion is that there have been some events recently where kids found things on the internet that were perhaps “too much” for them at their age, wished they hadn't seen, or parents were concerned. How are kids feeling and thinking about the internet? What's the environment like in your household re: the internet? Uses, rules? What concerns you? How do you enjoy and appreciate the internet? Are there any rules/agreements you'd like kids to have about the internet, as a group? Or, recommendations.

  • What is the internet?

  • A connection between computers in which anyone who has a computer and connection can publish things, and anyone with a computer can find and read/listen to/watch them.

  • The rules at my house are that I can listen to stories, and I have a certain amount of time I'm allowed to listen. But I don't have the internet on any of my devices.

  • Me too, and I barely ever watch cartoons.

  • The only thing I use the computer for is listening to stories and music.

  • In my house, I have to ask to do anything on the internet except listen to music. I like to listen to music.

  • All we do is listen to downloaded stories.

  • I usually listen to stories and work on writing stories on my computer.

  • I am allowed to occasionally watch a video about how to do something I need to do, or look at some information for a project I'm doing.

  • I listen to stories on a CD player, not on the internet.

  • I spend a lot of time reading news on the internet to keep up with what's going on. I do research on things I'm interested in, and sometimes I keep up with friends I don't get to see often. (Adult guest)

  • I also check my email.

go-around about concerns. If you have any concerns about kids and the internet, you can say them now.

  • I don't live in the Hamlet, so I have no idea what goes on there.

  • My concerns are that I've seen a few people do things that they didn't share about when it went around the circle last time. I'm not sure if rules have changed for them and I didn't know, but I've seen kids do things on the internet that are contrary to the rules I know about.

  • Adult guest: I have many concerns about kids and the internet, and people in general with the internet, and I won't cover all of them. One of them is that when you talk to someone over the internet, you only get to read what they said. When you see someone's face, you get more context about what they are saying, but over the internet it's easy to misunderstand things, and people don't communicate as well. Also – for example – I have concerns about using Youtube to learn how to do something, because it's hard to know for sure if the person who put that there if that person actually knows what they're doing: Everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt, meaning you really need to think about whether that information is important or useful for you, or not. Much of what's out there may not be valuable to you. (adult guest)

  • Adult: My concern is that the whole world and everything that's in it is on the internet, the best and worst of what's in the world. I have a concern that if kids stumble upon something really horrible, they cannot un-see that and it could be scary, hard, or sad. It takes a lot of care and knowledge to navigate the net safely that kids may not have developed yet.

  • My cousin watches video games a lot, and it's very distracting. When we do something else, he just starts playing video games.

What rules and guidelines do we hope to have for kids and the internet?

  • If you're going on the internet for something, only do that. Don't get distracted by anything else. Be careful to stay focused on what you came for.

  • If you're on the internet for one thing, be careful to stay focused on only that thing.

  • Like, for example, if you're on Youtube looking for a video explaining what kind of chickens to buy, only look at that and don't look for other things.

  • Like, “oh that's weird, don't look at the person standing naked over a fire!”

  • Right, don't get distracted by the person standing naked over a fire, watch the chicken video.

  • Adult: Does anyone feel like it would be pretty hard not to watch that video? Like, what's going on there?

  • There might be some other video I'm curious about. Like how to make ice cream.

  • What about things you'd be interested in using net for? How could it be useful to you?

  • Listening to stories.

  • Music.

  • Learning new things! Like how to build a house.

  • But we don't even need to go on the internet to learn things if we have books.

  • But what if you want to listen to a certain story you don't have book of?

  • Get a CD player.

  • Or learn the story and tell it.

  • Gotta learn it somethow... like, on the internet.

Anyone have any thoughts about what happens if I have one set of rules at my house, and I'm at someone else’s house with different rules, what to do?

  • Follow your household rules, even if you're not at your house.

  • If someone else starts doing something you can't do on the internet, tell them that you can't do that and ask them to stop, or leave their house.

  • How do people feel about that? Thumbs up/thumbs down vote shows many thumbs up and one thumb in the middle.

  • Middle thumb: I need more time to think about it.

  • Adult guest: I would recommend that if a kid does find something on the internet that is upsetting, or something they're unsure about, or have questions about, that you find an adult confidante to talk about it with. I could imagine there being some shame to share or ask questions, especially if what you found involved the breaking of a rule, but there are safe adults who can hear you without judgment rather than have you hold it inside.

  • Gabo: anyone can talk to me about anything and I won't share with anyone else without talking to you first.

  • Adult: Me, too.

  • Let's do CD players!

  • I want my mom to go to the Library more.

Restorative Circle re: mud fight incident


  • A restorative circle is a tool we can use when we have a conflict in our kid community to understand conflict, what happened for each person, their experience and feelings, their needs, how they're feeling and needing now. Also, try to understand why each person did what they did. Try to get to a place where once all are heard and understand, talk clearly about what we can do to meet all the needs. There was a mud fight incident last week. Talking to each person involved, it seemed like most people had moved on, which is kind of perfect to practice this restorative circle, because it may not be as intense. It also could be difficult to practice with because we don't remember what happened as vividly. In Restorative Circles, even if you weren't at the incident, we are all part of the conflict community. All of us play together and may get into similar interactions, and all of us are impacted if one of us is upset. In RC they say conflict belongs to all of us. The questions are: What would you like this group to know about your experience during or after the incident? Things you were thinking, saw/heard/noticed, things you felt, things you were needing.


What happened:


  • I wasn't there, don't know what happened.

  • At the end I felt covered in mud.

  • Wasn't there.

  • I was just feeling really overwhelmed so I hid under the bridge so I didn't get mudballs thrown at me. And I kept a stack of mudballs next to me in case someone attacked me.

  • Wasn't there.

  • I wasn't there but I might have something to say in the case that I wasn't feeling so cold. I'm having a hard time concentrating right now because I'm cold and tired.

  • I'm feeling disappointed that the whole mud fight happened.

  • We started up at Paradise, then came down to the creek, and I was feeling ok and giving people mud. Then I decided I didn't want anymore mudballs thrown at me, went under the bridge, that's all I remember. That's all the important stuff anyway.

  • Started up at Paradise, felt ok there, but when we went to the creek it was hard for me. I didn't choose what team I was on so got mudballs thrown at me by both teams and I felt upset. Then I decided I was on a certain team, but then someone else asked me and one other person to be on the same team. I said ok, but then I felt sad because one person was now the only one getting mudballs thrown at him in the fight. I was worried about him getting hurt, or getting his feelings hurt.

  • Before we moved down to the creek, I was already frustrated and upset, because when we were at the Pond, my watch got kicked in the water. At the time, I just felt like this person did it on purpose because he was mad at me for some reason.

  • Were you feeling unmet in your needs for consideration and respect?

  • Yeah.

  • For a while, we were at Paradise throwing mud, and an adult was there, but she had to leave and one person said let's keep doing this at the creek so we went down there. Started out with a person on the Willow Bridge swing, and everyone was throwing mud balls at him. Then I went over with him and they started throwing them at me too,which I wanted because it was fun. But it ended up with a couple people throwing balls at these other two people, and me and someone were under the bridge collecting mud. Then another person came over and someone was hiding under the bridge balls at the person who had been on the swing and one other person, and me and another were collecting mud, and then someone else came over, and someone was hiding under the bridge. Eventually it ended up with me hiding under the bridge, a different person collecting mud, and two people getting mudballs thrown at them. When we got down from Paradise at first, I thought maybe we should stop because the game was getting a little rough, and I shared this but I don't think anyone was hearing me.

What was most important for us to know about that story and you?

  • I was feeling kind of upset that no one was listening to me.

  • You wanted to be heard and listened to and you felt sad when no one paid attention?

  • Yes.

  • Whereabouts the last person ended their story, I was atop the bridge, someone walked up and started throwing mud balls with big rocks and sticks in them, then I didn't feel good. One person grabbed this barrel lid and started trying to throw it at me. It didn't feel good. A couple people were purposefully throwing big rocks and barrels, someone got a big rip on his pant leg and a wound on his knee.

  • Did you feel scared about getting hurt, or this other person getting hurt?

  • Yes. Both.

  • Did you feel angry that someone might hurt you?

  • Yes.

  • I wanted to clarify with what happened. I wasn't trying to throw the barrel lid, I was using it as a shield. Someone said it was his and he took it back, but he doesn't seem he took very good care of it. I found it lying in the middle of the creek.

  • Did you feel upset he took the lid from you?

  • Yeah. Also I went to my house to get a shield because that same person said it wasn't a game anymore. When I said stop and I was crying, he kept doing it.

  • So you got to a point where you didn't want to be thrown at anymore and they weren't stopping, and were upset and sad and crying?

  • Yes, and they just kept doing it.

  • Let's take some breaths. Often what happens is we start getting into the harder parts we have more feelings about. Let's take it slowly, and remember that just because somebody felt sad, angry, or hurt about something that you did, it doesn't mean you did something bad or are bad, or did something wrong. It means someone else experienced you as doing something that caused them to experience some hurt. The more we can hear about the hurt someone felt without taking personally, the more we can help fix the relationship and make things better.

  • I feel that the way someone just told the story changed the order of how things happened, and made it look like I was being really mean and dangerous. You went and got shield before things started getting very upset, and that's what started me getting upset. I said that was against the rules, and you said no you're the only one who has cheated. The barrel lid was in the creek because it had floated upstream when the flood got it.

  • You're concerned that because of how the story is being told, people will think badly of and blame you?

  • Yes.

  • Earlier when somebody said it wasn't a game anymore I didn't totally understand what you meant.

  • I said it wasn't a game anymore when somebody started throwing rocks and stuff at us and another person was acting threatening and saying pause when we got too close, and when we hit him with mudballs we said pause, but I said it wasn't a game anymore because we were being defensive, me and someone else, because we didn't like having rocks and sticks thrown at us.

  • Now we're kind of in the second part of the circle, where we say why we did what we did.

  • The person who just spoke is saying why I did what I did: I felt scared and endangered of being hurt, and didn't like being told it was not in the rules because I was protecting myself from something I was afraid of.

  • I only threw one rock and one stick, not more.

  • Let's be careful about the details of the story, going back and forth. Can we focus on needs and why we did what we did? Let's just allow it to be a different story.

  • Why did you do that, x?

  • I was feeling really defensive.

  • When you say defensive do you mean scared?

  • Yes.

  • Can you say how that caused you to throw a rock or stick?

  • I don't know.

  • Are you feeling overwhelmed right now?

  • Yeah.

  • Y, do you want to share why ?

  • Not really, I forgot.

  • Z?

  • No.

  • X?

  • When I was up at bridge, X had a cup full of mud and was throwing it at me and two other people who had a whole bucket full of mud. I thought that wasn't fair because those two had such a big bucket and I just had a little cup, they had more mud than me. Then something with X I thought wasn't really fair. And when Y said the shield was his I felt like he might have just wanted one, then Z gave it to him which I thought was nice.

  • You felt like it was unfair that folks had different amounts of mud. And when Y said shield was his, you wondered if he said that just because he wanted it, You could understand that, that he would want one when others had one, and you thought it was nice when Z gave to him?

  • Yeah.

  • Requests and offers for this group? You can also offer to do something?

  • Clarifying about barrel lid, it was mine because I found in creak last year, I had in a fort upstream, a flood took it downstream. I have a request that people tell the truth exactly how they remember it happening. Doing it in the wrong order, that's also really hard

  • So, when we make requests and offers to try to meet some needs of ours... like, the person who just spoke really has a need for honesty, integrity, accountability, shared reality. When we make requests, the more specific we can be, the more likely they can help us meet our needs. So I hear a request to always tell the truth, which is pretty hard to do.

  • What I mean is when we are in a restorative circle and things like that.

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