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Radical unschoolers and rude kids - Page 4

post #61 of 200
For those of you without 'rules' I'm curious to know how you handle situations when your children are confronted with the rules of others - ie in someone else's home who clearly states their rules, or in the library, theatres which have rules? Do you expect your children to comply with the rules of the environment that they are in, do you avoid those situations or do you let your children choose whether to follow those rules?
I'm truly curious - not trying to debate.
Karen
post #62 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
Yep. That's exactly what I've seen too. In addition to some pretty shocking social aggressiveness~I don't mean immature isolated stuff~I mean barking orders to all the other kids, degrading them, ordering children not to speak to another child, that kind of thing...all with the parent looking on...
This sounds like Lord-of-the-Flies-non-schooling to me.
post #63 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
PS I admit this: I used to very strong in my thoughts about 'age appropriate' films and other scary/violent things for wee ones. I've grown more relaxed as the years have gone by, although I will be honest and say Grand Theft Auto is probably always going to be beyond my comfort zone-- even for adults. lol That's just a little too real for me.
Nice post! I so agree that it's hard to explain how this kind of lifestyle operates to someone who is totally unfamiliar with it. It's like describing the exact taste of an orange to someone who's never tasted one. I could describe it as "sweet" or "tangy" or "a little sour" just the same way I could describe this lifestyle as "peaceful" and "interesting" but they still wouldn't have an real complete understanding.

Ahh Grand Theft Auto. My kids own the San Andreas one, and Ds wants the other. Let me tell you if you want to start some talking mention that game in a crowd of parents! I can honestly say that I do not care for the game. I never have. But, my kids do. We've talked about why it's just not my deal, and they've talked about why they like it. Coolness.
post #64 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyNY View Post
OK, trying to understand here--what about rules about, like, needing an adult's permission before doing something? You might not call it a rule, but it's still something you want your kids to do...is this an issue of semantics?
My kids asked and still ask for my help with many things. When they were little it did come out "Mom can I take a bath?" when they weren't quite ready to handle running a bath alone yet, etc. We all (adults and kids) generally check in with each other before taking off to go somewhere because that's just polite I think. My 15 year old wouldn't come to me with "Can I please go to the mall?" but instead would likely say "I'm thinking about heading to the mall in a bit." Then I'd say whatever I thought about that, and so on.

Some things are not under our control, and we get that. My Dd wants to get her nose pierced as soon as she can. We believe she needs to be 14 here to do so and then she will need my permission. She came to me about it, we chatted on it, and she plans to do it next year. Sure she could go do it herself or get a friend to do it. I am pretty sure she won't though. Is this the kind of thing you are meaning?
post #65 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
i think we sometimes do freak people out when we talk about how we don't have 'rules'. It sounds like a free-for-all, when it's absolutely not. Maybe we just don't explain well enough what we mean.
....

I keep trying to figure out how to better explain what 'no rules' means to people just starting on the journey.
FWIW, as someone just starting on the journey, the phrase "principle based" made a lot more sense to me than "no rules". What I have come to realize is that I want my kids to understand a much more complex moral code than "obey your parents or you'll end up in timeout".

Back to the topic at hand:

I've only encountered this particular group online, but I suspect a family like that belonged to a homeschooling group we used to belong to. I never actually met them, because they were always canceling at the last minute for reasons like "we were all up until 2am, and so we're too tired to go today". Generally, (while rude) it wouldn't be a big deal , but a few times the mom had been the organizer of the activity in question. I don't know exactly what it teaches kids when you don't honor commitments.

Anyhow, I'm glad you brought this up, because, quite frankly these people scare me. :

ZM
post #66 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
For those of you without 'rules' I'm curious to know how you handle situations when your children are confronted with the rules of others - ie in someone else's home who clearly states their rules, or in the library, theatres which have rules? Do you expect your children to comply with the rules of the environment that they are in, do you avoid those situations or do you let your children choose whether to follow those rules?
I'm truly curious - not trying to debate.
Karen
We've talked about respecting other people's things and spaces and feelings since the kids were quite young. It's the basic respect we treat people with. My kids haven't had a problem with most of that. My son raised his voice some or ran in the library and was "scolded" by the librarian. It was a natural consequence... they pop up now and again.

My SIL once got after Ds when he was like 6 or so for putting his feet on her sofa. She said "Would you do that at your house on your couch?" expecting him to say no and put his feet down. He responded with "Yeah, of course I would!" We had no issue with clean feet on the couch. We did talk about respecting different house rules, and that when we can do something as simple as not putting feet on the sofa to help people feel happy and respected it's probably a good idea.

Some stuff we chose not to respect. Everyone has their limit. It varies.
post #67 of 200
Ooo, I'm loving the discussion in this thread. We might have to get a little more radical in our unschooling.
post #68 of 200
To OP, good suggestions,check out lots of groups,the more diverse,the better.... you never know what type of "style" family you'll click with-
Our family clicks very well with another hs family- we are incredibly relaxed/or unschool types,they're classical scholars....
Ok, I don't mean disrespect to anyone when i say this...I haven't read the whole thread yet,but I have to say something.... I do think the whole RU philosophy has to bear some blame here for rude kids. I think as we mature,and are given the benefit of learning to be well mannered in society,children slowly but surely progress,and make appropriate changes in their behavior,b/c they're learning that rudeness is unacceptable.
...BUT... what if I RU my kids,and feel that expecting them to adapt to 'societys' burdens and expectations is wrong...then what? other kids should adapt to what MY child wants? And it's all ok?
Because that is exactly what some who subscribe to this philosophy seem to be thinking....
In my opinion, not leading our children in the way to go,especially where treating others well is concerned is doing them HUGE disservice,b/c guess what? the reason others don't want to be around our kids who act this way is b/c we,the parents,aren't giving our kids the benefits of what we already know, "if you don't play nice,ain't nobody gonna' play with you!"
And I'm sorry, but if saying"well, as an RU kid,my child isn't rude,just expressing himself honestly..." c'mon folks, there's a huge difference between honesty,rudenss,and learning *tact*.
And those of us who don't agree with RU(we're simply the relaxed sort of folks who have no real label ) When I see one of the many RU kids I know,who at the age of 10-11 years old haven't yet grasped the social niceties of getting along that most other kids have grasped by the age of 4,I do think yes, certain patterns of parenting,and apologetic reasoning (no,it's not the RU,it's just my childs innate,bright honesty) have a lot to do with this sort of kid.
Not that it's just the RU kids(or parents) it happens in all groups,it's probably more a mindset than educational choice....
post #69 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I have to wonder if this is a byproduct of some of the "no spanking" education going on. Do people equate spanking with discipline and don't know how to set limits any other way?
From what I've seen, yes, this is a problem for some parents. I think most are innocent in their intentions but I've also seen people use it as an excuse (in a snarky way) when their kids are running wild, e.g. "Well, I can't do anything about it since you're not 'allowed' to spank anymore!"
post #70 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
My kids asked and still ask for my help with many things. When they were little it did come out "Mom can I take a bath?" when they weren't quite ready to handle running a bath alone yet, etc. We all (adults and kids) generally check in with each other before taking off to go somewhere because that's just polite I think. My 15 year old wouldn't come to me with "Can I please go to the mall?" but instead would likely say "I'm thinking about heading to the mall in a bit." Then I'd say whatever I thought about that, and so on.

Some things are not under our control, and we get that. My Dd wants to get her nose pierced as soon as she can. We believe she needs to be 14 here to do so and then she will need my permission. She came to me about it, we chatted on it, and she plans to do it next year. Sure she could go do it herself or get a friend to do it. I am pretty sure she won't though. Is this the kind of thing you are meaning?

I see how that would work with older kids, but I'm thinking more of littles--like the "don't talk to strangers" or "look both ways before you cross the street" kind of stuff. I'm really just trying to understand what "no rules" looks like.
post #71 of 200
Well, we always talked to strangers...

I think of it more interms of giving kids the tools they need to do well in the world. Rather than telling my child not to talk to strangers, I might discuss what she should do if we were in a store and she couldn't find me, or more likely I'd ask her what she might do. Then we'd talk about why some ideas were good, and what some possible problems might be, and I'd share and info I had on the subject, and maybe we'd role-play something. Rather than following rules, I emphasized good problem-solving skills.

When my child was really little, she was always supervised by a loving caregiver, so rules like looking both ways before crossing the street weren't necessary. I modeled doing that, and talk through it sometimes, and maybe put a hand out to stop her if she stepped into the street before I was sure it was safe... but it was never a rule.

We've never had real issues with rule-following elsewhere, except when rules were unfair... and in those cases we'd either break them or not go there. For example, there was a store where we once lived that had a sign saying all children must hold the hand of an adult at all times, and we blew that one off... and if we'd been challenged, we would have left. Most rules make sense, though.

Oh, actually Rain was involved in some rule-breaking this past weekend, when a parent volunteer were very literally interpreting a rule that said the child must stay in the dressing room when not on stage, as was not letting them get drinks or use the restroom. She was in charge of some of the younger kids... Rain tried to suggest that perhaps the director hadn't been no bathroom drinks, and was brushed off, so when the group Rain supervised came offstage she took them all for drinks and bathroom breaks and then to a different dressing room... and we have no regrets on that. She did talk to the director later, who agreed that the parents had been off-base and said he'd talk to her. Oh, and the mom was overheard talking to another volunteer mom at one point, and the other mom was saying she thought the rule must not mean no bathroom breaks, and the dragonlady mom said, "Oh, you just think that because your kids are in Montessori, where they have bathrooms in the classrooms - public school kids know how to hold it."

So, there was a case when rules and value conflicted, and Rain chose kindness and compassion over the rule...

dar
post #72 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyNY View Post
I see how that would work with older kids, but I'm thinking more of littles--like the "don't talk to strangers" or "look both ways before you cross the street" kind of stuff. I'm really just trying to understand what "no rules" looks like.
I think it's a good question. I've thought about this. Here's an example that might possibly help, but may not. lol

When my first was about 17 mos, he whacked the cat (who was already getting older) in that impulsive, excited way little toddlers have when they are not so sure what to do with their energy. I was a bit shocked-- we had never hit him, or even raised our voices at him. I sputtered, "The rule in our family is 'no hitting'". The minute I said that I felt odd, so I then I held his little hands and said kindly, "Gentle hands with our kitty", and held his sweet hands and we gently patted the cat togehter. It was an act he'd seen me do a million times, anyway. Of course, now I know that little ones do sometimes hit, but they simply need a little guidance to help get that under control. Hitting hurts kitties, too.

I then started saying "We are gentle with each other " when those little toddler impulses reared. It was the same message of no htting, but without a 'rule' . I stated what was safe, for him and for the cat.

As 3 more children were added and time rolled on, I started saying "We need to keep each other safe. Gentle hands on each other". Maybe othes might find issue with those words, but they worked well for us, and everyone has grown up feeling safe from physical harm. Dh and I also encourage expressing true feelings and we model that. It's not about causing guilt, as in "You make me feel blah blah blah we you blah blah blah" but rather, "When blah blah blah happens, I feel...." And then we listen.

Further, I have no problem telling my oldest "Please call me and tell me where you are at 9 so I don't wonder where you might be. And please call us by 10 to say what time you are coming home. We can't fall asleep until we know you are safe". I've told my kids that it's hard for me to sleep if my ducklings are scattered in the late hours.

Now, I *know* I will have to work on this worry when my oldest is off to college next year. Oy. lol However, in the meantime, I feel calmer knowing that while it's already 11, he is at a local resturant, is planning on being home by 12. (That's the teen driving curfew here, at any rate). It's harder to not worry about older kids than I thought it would be. My mind races and worries and that's my problem. Yet, my 17 yr old knows that if he checks in, I can stop fretting.

I will admit, however, that we have totally discouraged outings that are not program related, m-thurs for our teen. Is it a rule? I never recall stating it that way, but if you asked my oldest he might say it's a rule.

I am going to have to ask. Did he agree to it, or has it been a given all these years? I'll let you all know. lol
post #73 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I then started saying "We are gentle with each other " when those little toddler impulses reared. It was the same message of no hitting, but without a 'rule'.
I'm not picking on YOU in particular, but this appears to be a matter of semantics to me. The "rule" is that "we are gentle with each other." Whether you say it's a rule is irrelevant.

I presented the toddler-hitting-kitty scenario to my 14yo to see what he thought. I didn't tell him what my views are beforehand. He said the only difference is the phrasing.

Whenever you speak for your child, as in "we" do such-and-such, you are creating a standard for them to live by. A rule, if you will. Saying it's not a rule is just sugarcoating, IMO.
post #74 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I didn't notice people like this 7 or 8 years ago...
Oh, well maybe that explains it - I've been reading through all this with great bewilderment, because I've come across none of this. I've seen an awful lot of homeschooled kids of all ages, and I've always known them to be exceptionally nice. It always seemed to me as just a result of growing up in an environment of mutual respect. I wonder if some of this has to do with a subgroup within a certain generation - I'd be curious what climate of parenting was in vogue when the parents of the rude or mean children you're describing were growing up. Let's say a parent had a child at age 24 and the child is now 5 - that would make the parent 29. 2006 - 29 would put her growing up in the late 70s, early 80s. Well, actually, that got me nowhere - because I really have no idea what was going on in the way of parenting during that time ! Oh, well... - Lillian
post #75 of 200
This is a very interesting thread.
post #76 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post

29 would put her growing up in the late 70s, early 80s. Well, actually, that got me nowhere - because I really have no idea what was going on in the way of parenting during that time ! Oh, well... - Lillian
Disco. I think you can blame it all on disco.
post #77 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama View Post
Disco. I think you can blame it all on disco.
Them's fightin' words, pastamama! :

Although, I must say it's nice to see you in this neck o' the woods again. Lillian
post #78 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama View Post
Disco. I think you can blame it all on disco.
No, I think it's probably the Brady Bunch reruns. Who could live up to the Bradys? NO ONE, I say!
post #79 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by lckrause View Post
No, I think it's probably the Brady Bunch reruns. Who could live up to the Bradys? NO ONE, I say!
Wimps, I say. If my generation could manage with "the merry Mouseketeers," f'r Pete's sake, the Brady reruns generation should have been able to cope. - Lillian
post #80 of 200
My son is incredibly considerate of his friends, one of the most selfless young person I have ever met.
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