It's funny that this thread keeps getting commented on, everyone brings something new. Rightkindofme, I totally hear you. When my DS watches to much tv he becomes very dependent on it. He loves to be entertained, he is not good at entertaining himself. My youngest DD however never ( just turned 3) asks to watch tv. And will entertain herself for hours. So, I have also discovered that I have to have boundaries about the TV ( he will dissolve into puddles about watching another movie if he has watched too much) and other things as well. Because my kids really want to be ON me all the time, and now that they are bigger it's very over stimulation for me and it makes me angry, SO I have to have times where they may climb on me and times when they give me space. This is very hard for them, and me too because I hate being the creator of the boundary and the consequential hurt feelings... but if I give my kids ultimate freedom, it's hard on the whole house. None of us has total freedom. There are responsibilities and obligations that keep a family running. Anyway, just saying in a long and rambling way, you are not alone. I freak out and yell at people, and it is always because I have gotten lazy and been inconsistent with boundaries.
Where's the line between laziness and radical unschooling? - Page 8
What happens when gut instincts run counter to what you believe to be best?
On this forum, most parents have gut instincts towards gentler discipline and similar philosophies. Sadly, I am the opposite, as it's instinct for me to be authoritative bordering on authoritarian. Being gentle is a struggle and Im not good at it, but I try because I think its best overall for my son. I don't want to be that strict parent, but it takes effort not to do this. While unschooling IS a great fit for us, and we will continue with is so long as it serves Ds needs, the discipline dimension is a struggle. My son is so young, we don't have too many issues, but I can see them cropping up.
I don't have anything helpful to add, just wanted to share our struggle! This thread is very helpful to the parent that has to LEARN how to be non coercive- it doesn't come natural to us all. but it's worth it!
I don't unschool my son. I was unschooled, home schooled, and attended a democratic school, which was basically unschooling at school. I'm not judging anyone, but my personal experience is radical unschooling works for most children. I know it didn't work for me, it didn't work for my siblings, and it didn't work for my parents in the long run. I think unschooling can work under the right circumstances.
Happiness is important, but I don't think it is the only measure to decide if a child is doing well and thriving. My son would be very happy playing video games, watching TV, and eating Fruit Loops.
I would be happy spending all my time reading, spending money on books, and occasionally walking my dogs, but I wouldn't thrive. I'd also be homeless, dog less, and book less eventually and cease to be happy. I have the cognitive judgement to know I need to go to work, pay my bills, and walk the dogs three times a day. Eight year olds do not have the cognitive ability to always make the choices that are in their long term best interest. I want my son to have choices in life and to me that includes making sure he has the foundation of good education, some self control, and healthy habits. I realize that is sounds very authoritarian for this forum and even MDC. My son self regulates in many areas and has, at least according to most my family and friends, way too much freedom, but there are some desicions he isn't ready to make.
I am not an unschooler.....because my daughter isn't school aged yet, but we are thinking of home-schooling and I've been researching all the different ways we (might) go about homeschooling her. Including unschooling (specifically Catholic unschooling).
That said, the above quoted is a great post and I totally agree with every word. Especially given what pp have said about video games being designed to not foster self-regulation and to be as addictive as possible. I believe children need our guidance and need us to be leaders and teachers at times and this situation in the OP sounds sounds like an excellent example of one of those times. And I don't think you're describing authoritarian parenting here, but rather authoritative parenting.