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Radical unschoolers and rude kids - Page 6

post #101 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyNY View Post
So what I'm hearing here is not so much that there are no rules, it's just you don't call them rules, and the "rules" have meanings that aren't arbitrary. It's "take your shoes off, or the floor will get all muddy and gross," not "take your shoes off because I said so."

LOL It sounds like that to me as well.
post #102 of 200
Tadpoles wrote: "Sometimes, by making things pleasant, you're getting your kids to do what you think is best."

Yes. I will hand a tiny child an interesting item to hold as distraction as I buckle the seatbelt. Maybe put in a CD I know they like. Maybe even unbucke the child and try again later. I do think it's best if a child is restained safely in a car. Would you see these accomodations as negative? Am I misunderstanding?
post #103 of 200
To me, a key difference between "rules" and "principles" is that rules must be obeyed no matter what, while if your goal is to follow principles, the details are negotiable.

For example: the speed limit is a rule-- I can be ticketed for speeding even on a clear day on an empty road. We have a principle that we are respectful of our home, instead of a rule against ball-throwing-- if we can figure out a way to do what they want without violating the principle, they can do it.

We do have some rules here-- everyone has to be buckled in the car (no negotiating an alternative), and some others that aren't coming to mind right now.

ZM
post #104 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Yes. I will hand a tiny child an interesting item to hold as distraction as I buckle the seatbelt. Maybe put in a CD I know they like. Maybe even unbucke the child and try again later. I do think it's best if a child is restained safely in a car. Would you see these accomodations as negative? Am I misunderstanding?
Of course I don't see them as negative. But I think that the majority of parents, even the unschooliest ones who claim they never impose their own "wants" on their children, do coerce them from time to time. They just don't call it coercion. More semantics.
post #105 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I'm not thinking of number #1, either. :
:
post #106 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
To me, a key difference between "rules" and "principles" is that rules must be obeyed no matter what, while if your goal is to follow principles, the details are negotiable.
I think that is a clear and concise way to describe how I think about things. I do have some rules in my home. One is that my children not hit me. Ramona went through a phase of smacking me in the face when she was angry or frustrated. She is NOT ALLOWED to do this. That is the rule. The principle underlying this is that we treat one another with respect and not violence. When she was angry or frustrated, saying, "I don't like to be hit" or "Please treat me gently" was not, I don't know, powerful enough? direct enough? to get through to her. "You may NOT hit me" (said firmly but not yelled) was. I consider that a rule.

Another rule is that Desta may not leave the house without telling me where she is going. The principle is that we need to know where one another are so that we are not concerned and can find one another when we need to. After several instances of her leaving the house and going down the street to a friend's house without telling me, I sat her down and said, "You may not leave the house to visit a friend without telling me."

I think that our rules reflect our principles, and the rules are developed when the kids need something more concrete than the principle to help them remember the principle.

Namaste!
post #107 of 200
i've been thinking about the rules / principles discussion. we also don't use the word 'rules', and i don't think we have 'rules', so we certainly have principles or guidelines of sorts.

my difficulty with rules is that i don't think about my behaviours, actions throughout the day, in terms of 'rules'. i don't brush teeth because it is a rule. i don't cook dinner because it is a rule. i mean if someone asked me why i took my shoes off, i would not say 'because it is a rule'. sure, they are internalised principles, that adutls follow or not, unconsciously, and maybe it is the matter of semantics. but our words shape our reality as well. i do not think about myself in terms of 'rules', and i don't want my children to define themselves by 'rules'.

on the other hand, i do discuss with dd 'rules', especially before we visit others, but i talk about them in terms of how people do things, how people behave. i tell her that some people would say grace before dinner, and that if we want to be respectful, we need to sit quietly through it. or that in some homes you cannot run in the kitchen. people do things differently, people are different.
post #108 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
:
LOL Your dictionary def #1 of the word rule. You said I was more thinking of number 1 and your were thinking of number 4, and I said, That's not us, either.
post #109 of 200
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Oh, I have thoughts on sharing toys, too.

We always put up special things, children to not have to share their treasures.

However, if a child can't share any toys at all, it's best to not have playgroups at your house. Not letting visiting friends pay with the toys is one of those mean/edgy kid things that I can't deal with. It's cruel to expect other children visit your house and tell those children they can't play with so and so's toys or she'll get upset. Don't put your kid in that situation, and don't set other kids up for sadness and total dissapointment.
Thank you!

This is the kind of stuff I'm talking about.

It's not about forcing sharing. It's about treating others with kindness and respect.

But I think this thread has it right - it is about unparenting. It does seem to be a bit more prevalent with radical unschoolers, at least in our hs group, but I certainly don't think it's unique to them. I had to remind myself the other night that while I may be frustrated with my child's selection of playmates in the hs'ing community, at least I have some sort of control over it. If he was in school I'd probably be frustated and have no control.
post #110 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
Of course I don't see them as negative. But I think that the majority of parents, even the unschooliest ones who claim they never impose their own "wants" on their children, do coerce them from time to time. They just don't call it coercion. More semantics.
Making a carseat ride pleasant is not coercion. That's the oddest thing Ive ever heard.
post #111 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
LOL Your dictionary def #1 of the word rule. You said I was more thinking of number 1 and your were thinking of number 4, and I said, That's not us, either.
No, you've got it backward. I said I was thinking of #1 and you were thinking of #4.

Quote:
Making a carseat ride pleasant is not coercion.
If the child is throwing a fit about riding in a carseat until you hand her a snack or put in some music, it's manipulation. You're purposefully distracting the child so that you can put her in the situation you desire.

Not all coercion are acts of force.
post #112 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
Of course I don't see them as negative. But I think that the majority of parents, even the unschooliest ones who claim they never impose their own "wants" on their children, do coerce them from time to time. They just don't call it coercion. More semantics.

I do see a big difference between rules and principles, or values, or whatever else. A rule is black and white and prescriptive - you must do this, you way not do that. I'm looking at the bigger picture. Tromping mud all over the house means muddy floor and socks and whatever else - it creates a problem for other people in the house, as well as for the tromper sometimes. If "muddy shoes go off at the door" is a rule, then you've taken the problem out of context and limited the potential solutions to 1. Principles and values are about generalizing and problem solving, so that rather than creating lots of rules, you have just a few uniting values. Maybe muddy feet are fine on days when you're really tired and just want to walk across to the sofa and collapse for a few minutes, and it's worth the clean-up job later to not have to deal with your boots right then. Or if you're going out again soon and your boots are hard to get off and on, maybe you can stick your feet in old grocery sacks and walk that way.

We do have some procedures... like when Rain was little, we had the getting-ready procedure, which involved getting dressed, then brushing teeth, and then brushing hair. Or the making coffee procedure... or whatever. They're ways of doing things that work well for us right now, so we tend to follow them, but they're not mandated.

I see nothing coercive about making something unpleasant more pleasant, either... I kind of think it would be coercive not to, you know?

Dar
post #113 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
If the child is throwing a fit about riding in a carseat until you hand her a snack or put in some music, it's manipulation. You're purposefully distracting the child so that you can put her in the situation you desire.

Not all coercion are acts of force.
It's only coercion is there's some implied threat behind it, and you're making her do something she doesn't truly want to do. If she's perfectly happy to sit in a carseat as long as there's music playing, then it's a mutually agreeable solution - problem-solving, not coercion. Just like if your child was refusing to put socks on and you realized that the seams were bugging her so you turned the sock inside out, and then she was perfectly happy to wear socks (why yes, my daughter did wear inside-out socks for a couple of years).

dar
post #114 of 200
=2tadpoles wrote : No, you've got it backward. I said I was thinking of #1 and you were thinking of #4.

I understood what you meant, and rules aren't what we're about. #1 or #4.




Tadpoles wrote: Not all coercion are acts of force.


I believe all coercion are absolutely acts of force.
post #115 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
It's only coercion is there's some implied threat behind it, and you're making her do something she doesn't truly want to do.
I think, once again, that there is disagreement on the meaning of words.

Like I said, coercion isn't always about force or threats. Merely trying to talk someone into doing things your way is coercion. And I don't see rules as something related to punishment, either. Rules are just an easier way for kids to remember the principles behind them.

I'm sure some parents would tell their kids just to remove their shoes without explaining the "why" behind it, and say it's a rule. I also think most kids are intelligent enough to figure out why muddy shoes shouldn't come in the house, and that there really isn't anything wrong with teaching them good habits in the form of easy-to-remember rules.
post #116 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyNY View Post
So what I'm hearing here is not so much that there are no rules, it's just you don't call them rules, and the "rules" have meanings that aren't arbitrary. It's "take your shoes off, or the floor will get all muddy and gross," not "take your shoes off because I said so."


Pretty much. And the resulting "discipline" is more of a natural consequence. The fact that the floor will get muddy is something that is true. It's true if you do it, your dh does it or the children do it.

I'm really trying to do this in my family. Easier said than done, but it's getting easier with practice.

Lisa
post #117 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
It's only coercion is there's some implied threat behind it, and you're making her do something she doesn't truly want to do. If she's perfectly happy to sit in a carseat as long as there's music playing, then it's a mutually agreeable solution - problem-solving, not coercion. Just like if your child was refusing to put socks on and you realized that the seams were bugging her so you turned the sock inside out
Exactly. That's a lot of what went down at my house when the kids were little too. It still does (mutually agreeable situations) now but there are different issues these days.
post #118 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
Exactly. That's a lot of what went down at my house when the kids were little too. It still does (mutually agreeable situations) now but there are different issues these days.

LOL Yes, very different issues, but still the same prinicples.
post #119 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
Like I said, coercion isn't always about force or threats. Merely trying to talk someone into doing things your way is coercion.
So negotiation and problem-solving are coercion?

I'm not sure I agree with the term "your way"... I think it's more about trying to negotiate a solution that works for me, and for the other person too if I care about that person. I don't generally had a "way", but instead certain elements that are important to me. So, my child's safety would be important to me, and I'd want her to be transported safely. If she's happy to do that while sitting in her carseat with a baggie of cheerios and a Raffi CD playing, then that works for both of us...

Quote:
And I don't see rules as something related to punishment, either. Rules are just an easier way for kids to remember the principles behind them.
I don't think punishment is necessarily related to rules, either... and I do think it's easier to create rules, yes. There's less discussion, problem-solving, thinking... but in the long run, I'm not sure that's a good thing. I can't create rules to cover any situation my teen may run up against, and I feel more comfortable knowing that she doesn't rely on rules to decide what to do, but instead works from core values and problem-solving...

dar
post #120 of 200
I have never seen consensus regarding what constitutes coercion.

I think it's partly because individual experiences tend to shape our perception of what we think is "true".

In my experience it is possible to use distraction as a form of coercion. Another person might not see it that way. That's okay.
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