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living in a steiner community - help!

(32 Posts)
mule Thu 08-Mar-07 16:54:59

sorry i just have to let off steam
moved to a really beautiful area with our children 7 years ago, lovely mix of young and old but over the last few years many of the houses have been bought by families who send their children to the nearby steiner school. i don't have a problem with this, we tried the steiner school ourself thinking how lovely the idea of nature as teacher would be but found when my oldest daughter got hit at the nursery, the teacher explained it was their 'karma' and there was a heavy presence of landmark education and the people there kept telling us we must try it. if you didn't' want to become part of the landmark group then you were politely frozen out. so we left, my oldest goes to a state school now and is really happy but we now share a street where most of yhe neighbours are 'steiner'. this seems to becoming a problem, not for me necessarily as i'm quite self contained, but for my children, as even though we make an effort inviting children round from the neighbourhood - my children don't get asked back in return. we still hold some similar values - organic food, natural play, no tv, though we have a tv to watch videos with, (when one parent saw it he immediately suggested we cover it up). we were out this morning and one of the children came over and i offered them a chocolate croissant, their father then came running over and said 'no thanks we are sugar free'. the mothers that have been moving in are very cliquey - polite but suspicious of non-steiner people (god i sound paranoid) talking about how great that they now have a steiner community and are very alternative in some of their views about freedom and discipline. unfortunately my middle child seems to be in the firing line and even though he is a very friendly and forgiving little chap, one of the children in particular keeps pushing and hitting him (including today) and he is absolutely devasted and i am on his behalf because a) its completely unprovoked and b )the mother doesn't believe in telling her off. I feel all this anger in me but in a typical british fashion don't want to make a fuss or don't know how to stand up for my son or myself. i don't know whether to tell my son to hit her back as his self esteem is being affected. because they go to a different school it seems to give an air of superiority - i remember being encouraged for my eldest child to play with other steiner children outside of school as it was of supporting shared values. though how can they be so precious about their children's education and then condone violence?
i feel i have been abducted by a cult apart from its sort of back to front as they don't want us here. feel like we are not organic enough, spiritual enough, rich enough, local enough to belong anywhere. realise i definately don't want to live in a steiner community, lots of the older people are moving out because they feel they don't belong anymore. i really thought we were never going to move again but i am increasingly worried at my very lovely children being ostracized just for going to a different school.
not sure what i'm trying to say, maybe if anyone has been in a similar situation some advice please?
apologies for very long moan, it has been a bad day.

BellaLasagne Thu 08-Mar-07 17:00:03

My sympathies, it sounds like you're having a ritten time.

My neighbours are Steiner too and I have some real issues with them, but I won't go into it all here because last time I did I got shouted down by the resident sympathisers!

Just wanted to let you know you're not alone


Issymum Thu 08-Mar-07 17:00:07

No advice - I can't think of anywhere less Steinery than our neighbourhood in Guildford - but bumping for you anyway. Fascinating problem, but very difficult if you're living through it.

Lizzylou Thu 08-Mar-07 17:00:26

Gosh! Sounds terrible tbh.
Could you move? You could bump the house price up for Steiner devotees who would probably bite your hand off so that they live with other likeminded people!!
It sounds very odd.

Piffle Thu 08-Mar-07 17:02:01

OMG it sounds like hell.
is it feasible to move away, but keep your children at their state school?
it sounds like your values would not be compromised by living outside that community base.

I know some lovely Steiner parents and I know some weirdy ones too.

BellaLasagne Thu 08-Mar-07 17:05:18

My sympathies, it sounds like you're having a rotten time.

My neighbours are Steiner too and I have some real issues with them, but I won't go into it all here because last time I did I got shouted down by the resident sympathisers!

Just wanted to let you know you're not alone


BellaLasagne Thu 08-Mar-07 17:06:10

(Sorry for multiple posts - cyber gremlins?)

mule Thu 08-Mar-07 17:07:41

thanks for your quick replies
bellalasagne - i have resisted for a long time posting on here as i don't want to upset anyone, hence namechange
thanks issymum for bumping
lizzylou - i have started looking at estate agents windows again, think i need to live on an island for a while after this. we are also looking at moving to france and have been reading threads about this with interest.
just want to do the right thing for the children, my eldest loves her school so very tricky and time consuming to think about possible move abroad.
being a parent is sooo hard!

brimfull Thu 08-Mar-07 17:09:34

sounds hideous
whereaboute in the country are you?
I would consider moving if I were you.

mule Thu 08-Mar-07 17:11:19

i have friends that have been through steiner stystem who are lovely, thing is I think they would be lovely anyway, a person surely is more than the school they go to?
awful thing to say but so glad i'm not the only one to have mixed feelings

DimpledThighs Thu 08-Mar-07 17:13:37

OMG - sounds hideous and most unwelcoming - what a clique.


mule Thu 08-Mar-07 17:16:15

ggirl - rather not say. some schools are more progressive than others.

WestCountryLass Thu 08-Mar-07 21:04:04

Personally I would tell the child who is hitting your child not to hit him. Steiner or not, hitting another person is wrong and you have to stand up for your son.

I wouldn't really care what the parents whought of me as it doesn't sound as though you have much in common with them so, if they started crossing over the street when they saw you coming, it would be no great loss.

mule Fri 09-Mar-07 09:49:54

westcountrylass- i did tell her off and asked her why she hits? but she just stood there smiling and defiant saying i'm not telling you - i think there has to be consequences, that the hitter should be removed from play but nothing is ever done, i think the parents are scared of her as one can't be an earth mother and have a screaming child thrashing about if they don't get their own way

FioFio Fri 09-Mar-07 09:54:11

Message withdrawn

nearlythree Fri 09-Mar-07 09:55:32

Life is too short for this. I'd move, and in teh meantime look for friends elsewhere.

filthymindedvixen Fri 09-Mar-07 09:59:12

god this sounds like a 'be careful what you wish for, it might come true!' scenario for me...
I'll stop whinging about my neighbours who think I'm a wierdy for having an allotment and count my blessings.

Mule, it sounds awful, it must be a nightmare to be living as an 'outsider' in a clique, which is what it boils down to.
Moving sounds drastic but I'm not sure what else you can do?

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 09-Mar-07 10:02:18

What a difficult situation to be in. What vile people, despite the purity of their bodies. Spiritual my foot.

Jimjams2 Fri 09-Mar-07 10:02:45

why not move streets, rather than countries? If you go to France surely you risk the outsider thing again. Some Steiner schools can certainly be very insular, but a move of about 5 miles might get you away from that whilst allowing your dd to stay at her school etc.

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 09-Mar-07 10:03:57

Good advise there from JimJams.

inanidealworld Fri 09-Mar-07 10:07:20

OMG sounds bloody awful! Also seems a bit paradoxical (ooh good word for me) that they are so intolerant when they are claiming to be all karma-y

mule Fri 09-Mar-07 10:12:36

thanks for your replies - i think it boils down to the fact that dh and i don't want to live in a community and my children do - in the sense that all they see at this age are lots of other children to play with. they don't hold the same hang ups (yet!!) as we do or the steiner parents for wanting their children to only play with other steiner children.
one parent said to me a while ago 'oh wow you're wearing purple - you are becoming more spiritual!'. this is really messing with my head. i really don't want to move but then it means 'if you can't change your fate, change your attitude' kind of thing and that requires a lot of hard mental effort and like nearlythree says life is too short!

ipanemagirl Fri 09-Mar-07 10:14:12

mule, huge sympathy to you about this. How heartbreaking to have worked towards such a great environment for your kids and find it soured by peculiar people. I am so uncomfortable with philosophies that aren't open-minded and inclusive. It sounds like simple snobbery. Why don't people like difference?
But still, you have made a huge investment in this place and I wonder if it isn't worth talking to any of them about your feelings (obviously picking the most receptive!) - I'm sure that would be hard but you may just be surprised and if you have an ally or two- that could be enough to change your feelings a bit. Particularly as you dd loves her school. How far away are those friends? Also - is it possible that any of them feel rejected by you and are consequently more stand - offish. I'm not saying you have rejected them at all - but most of us can be amazed by others' perceptions of us!
The other option is to contact Steiner HQ (Is it in Surrey somewhere) and ask for advice - is this world view what they intend to promote?? I really feel it's wrong to create cults around such unessential things. Maybe you could contact them anonymously!
Sorry this is long - I just feel for you. I have one friend whose kids go to a Steiner school and she is nothing like these people you describe! Good luck with it all.

KathyMCMLXXII Fri 09-Mar-07 10:17:44

"'oh wow you're wearing purple - you are becoming more spiritual!'."


You sound far too normal for these people, Mule.

zizou Fri 09-Mar-07 20:03:58

Move Mule, quickly, move.
They aren't going to change.
You don't have to change school for your daughter surely.
How many streets does the community take up?
This is intolerable....when the Steiners are nutty, my god, are they nutty.

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