Originally Posted by johub
Parents mediate between the harsh realities of life and the child. If life doesnt "owe" choices, the parent chooses whether or not to offer them. It is not the parent taking away choices. But the parent offering more choices than life would without their mediation.
Just because children have their parents mediate between them and the harsh realities of life and the lack of choices that sometimes happens does not automatically entitle children to a free range of choices not availible to adults. Mom must go to work because of economic reality although nobody is holding a gun to her head. But because mom must go, in order to provide for dc. Dc must go to preschool. She does not have a choice in the scenario because it is her mother who is mediating between her and the world. To her mom is making her go to preschool. In reality the economic situation which necessitates mom to work is the same situation that necessitates the child to go to preschool. But the parent mediates and it is the parent who in actuality "makes" the child go to preschool.
If the parent has resources and creativity she might be able to offer an alternative choice, maybe a daycare or a home based daycare. But the choice the child wants , which is that mom stays home, is not an availible choice.
Given your example earlier that children choose their parents, is your perspective that no matter what the parent does to the child, the child chose it?
I consider my act of choosing to procreate initiated the process, prior to a child choosing me. Perhaps, I am stuck on my autonomous act of procreating separate from the act of the Universe providing for me to want to procreate. Who knows. But since I perceive responsibility for bringing a dependent being into the world by my direct actions, I am choosing to fulfill my (perceived) responsibilities to provide for his dependent needs in a manner to which he does not object due to my actions. My goal is to create mutually agreeable solutions such that my needs and our son's dependent needs are met without either sacrificing to the other.
So, if ds did not want to go to preschool. He would not *have to*. We would work together to meet his dependent needs in a manner to which he (nor I) object. Certainly, I would not force him to go against his will. At which time our son is independent, my responsibility to meet dependent needs is fulfilled, imo. As the voluntary caregiver, I would find a way to provide for his dependent needs to his satisfaction. If a time comes where, I no longer desire to be a voluntary caregiver, I believe I could relinquish that responsibility to an alternate voluntary caregiver to which our son is agreeable. My responsiblity being to find such alternate.
For instance, my husband and I like to go out in the evening for a dinner date, on occasion. At the time when our son was not agreeable for me to leave him with an alternate caregiver, I did not. As it is my active choice to be his voluntary caregiver of his dependent needs. When he was comfortable with my sister as an alternate caregiver, we began having dates every Wednesday. Unless ds did not choose to be left with her on a rare occasion. And we came back at any need expressed for us as his primary caregivers. Additional alternate caregivers have been developed and he is happy to stay with them and we have a date on most Sunday evenings too.
I have several friends who are practicing AP/unschooling as single parents. It is very hard. I am fortunate to have created a support system that is agreeable to our son and who treat him with the same degree of respect as he expects to be treated. If our son did not want to go to preschool, just as he did not care for several different alternate caregivers, we sought to identify the underlying needs and create different alternatives which met both his needs and my needs. Sometimes, my needs are postponed because I do not impose fulfilling my needs onto our son. And we have found alternative means of having couples time which does not create "have to" expectations on our son. But since we consistently work to meet all of our needs, we each are aware and considerate of eaches' needs and create mutually agreeable alternatives.
With the work and preschool, nitpicking whether it is coercive or not is not the point. Finding a solution that works for each member agreeably is the point.
If our son doesn't want mama to leave, I would find a way to keep that from happening and meet our family's needs for financial resources. I imagine that would be challenging. But we have several friends with children who live consensually with only one income. Imposing coercion is a choice, imo.