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Radical unschoolers and rude kids - Page 5

post #81 of 200
I joined an RU group online 5 years ago. There was some 'unparenting' happening then too~and man, it worked online as in real life~there was a very aggressive argumentative aspect to those particular posts~it was tiresome to wade through it!
post #82 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!
Ahem. I believe you are forgetting "Welcome Back, Kotter." Sure to damage the most impressionable minds.

And actually, I really like disco...and classic country...along withour indie rock. We have some very unusual musical tastes in this family. Yet, so far, no signs of extreme rudeness.
post #83 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post

Although, I must say it's nice to see you in this neck o' the woods again. Lillian
Um, in my heart I'm an unschooler... an unschooler in schooled clothing. I'm an unschooler poser.

I'm radicalizing from the inside, baby! Well, until she's fed up with it, and then we'll be real unschoolers.

However, my daughter has very nice manners. It must be because she goes to public school where they're forced to learn how to have good manners, because otherwise she'd never have them naturally. I mean, it only goes to figure that if unschoolers have bad manners from lack of external discipline, the public schooled kids have the best ones!

























HAHAHAHAHAHA.
not. I think it has much more to do with family culture and mutual respect than an educational style.
post #84 of 200

longer than I thought, sorry!

Interesting thread.... I'm no a RU, just a newer hs.

The most annoying kid my ds hangs out with goes to public school.

I dread when he comes over. Demands food, screams, takes toys away from my son, etc, ugh. My boyfriend takes over usually and explains to him that we don't act that way at our house, and this child does respond positively to my boyfriend.

I think children and parents behaving like this happens everywhere, and I'm just at the point that I stay away from them.

Honestly, I'm afraid to correct other children because I'm afraid I'll upset the other parent. So, when my son asks why does X get to act that way, I just say it's up to his Mommy and Daddy to teach him and that if he's unhappy with his friend, it's his choice not to hang out with him.

I was thinking the other day, Gosh, sometimes I don't understand why my ds does some things in public- not bad things, just maybe considered weird by others in public (like, wanting to talk about where babies come from with techinical terms, or wanting to see every room in someone's house and asking to do it), and I realized that's because I don't find the behavior bad, but I'm embarrassed that someone else might. My biggest concern has been that he respect other people and their property, and he does that. But, I got a little freaked out, and thought, maybe we should do things a little differently at home. (You know when you have these little dips in your faith? I was there!)

So we go on vacation with my sister, and her best friend's family, which includes the most adorable 3 year old boy. He's great! And my son loves him, goes to hug him and they are playing and laughing and my son does a "raspberry"- and this cute little boy shakes his finger and says:

"Rule #3: No raspberries!" What?? My sister's friend goes on to explain that they have written rules (like 10 of them) on the fridge outlining what he's (remember, age 3) not aloud to do- no yelling, etc. This is true- I remember seeing them when I visited a couple of months ago! It struck me as a little much, like micromanaging, but to know that this kid has the list memorized? Wow.

So I decided I was probably doing fine with my son.
post #85 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 should start most of my posts with "What Dar said...."

It's true. Like she mentioned, we just modeled and discussed. When my kids were wee ones they always had someonel looking out for them who could look for cars, uattended and tempting pointy things, etc. None of that was really an issue for us. And my son was definitely what you'd call "spirited" when he was younger. We just discussed. If there were "rules" at all we came up with them as a family.
post #86 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 don't know that I would be considered a RU and I really don't care as we are not striving for a label. But I do know that we are pretty unschooly so here's the way I see it:

Those things aren't really rules. Well the stranger one could be a rule if you take it there, but we don't tell our DS to never talk to strangers. We have warned him that there are bad people out there who sometimes look nice and not to ever go with anyone, not because "we said so" but because it's dangerous. We told him a nice stranger would never ask you to go with them, etc. We have told him the best way to react if we get seperated in a store. Those aren't rules, it's a matter of discussing dangers and finding good ways to be safe.

Looking both ways before crossing a street is not a rule either, it's how we cross a street. I don't look both ways when I cross because I'm following a rule and I don't want to get in trouble! FTR, little kids shouldn't be crossing the street by themselves anyway. They're not developmentally ready for that. That's not a rule a parent is imposing, it's a fact. Same with drinking wine. He knows it's harmful for kids to drink that. To say "Well, you've got a rule about that then" seems silly to me.

When we get out of the car he needs to wait for me because parking lots are dangerous. It's not a rule, it's being safe. He knows that cars backing out won't see him.

He's been informed that it's important to say thank you, please, hello and goodbye to shopkeepers, waiters, etc. He's not punished if he doesn't do it, but he is reminded nicely.

Standards are not necessarily rules. To be gentle with eachother is a value, a way of life. I think it's unhelpful for people to say that it's sugarcoating a rule (this last part is a response to a different post, not Betsy's).

Another example is toothbrushing. Not accepting their teeth to rot is not necessarily imposing rules. There are ways to get a child to brush his teeth without threatening punishment or holding them down and brushing their teeth (apparently there are people out there that actually do this).

I think there are definitely some APers and RUers out there who have some unfortunate misconceptions of what it means to AP or RU. I am far from being a perfect parent, APer or unschooler! But when I read about RUers telling other people they are wrong because, for example, they have family dinners (a true RUer would just give finger foods at the computer it seems) or see posts from people who don't want to let their little ones CIO but then physically hold them down until they fall asleep I feel : I think sometimes it becomes all about not having anything resembling a rule or not doing CIO and common sense seems to go out the window.
post #87 of 200
I'm reading a book right now called "Living joyfully with Children" and it has a chapter dedicated to "rules." They say that using "Principals" are much better. Rules are usually only good for the rulemaker, but principals are based on common sense and are good for everyone.

What NeedleInTheHay described are principals, not rules. They're not arbitrary, they're basic things that make life go easier.

I'm liking this book, but I hesitate to recommend it because it's kind of corny. I'm having a rough time enjoying my children right now, so I'm reading the corny book for inspiration.

I'm also guilty of "unparenting" but completely by accident. Sometimes, I lack the tools necessary to discipline correctly in certain circumstances, so I must back off or I may spank. When this happens, I go in search of the tools that I need.

Also, I may allow more to happen socially with my children than other parents are comfortable with. If the children are argueing, it's not my job to work out thier problems. I'll sit and watch. Then, sometimes, I'll see another adult come in to solve the problem and it really irks me. It's as if they can't let the kids work it out and they think that I'm not doing my job by letting them figure it out. Not only that, but now my child is being ganged up on by the child's caretaker as well as the child. Then, I come over to assure egality. I'd never allow hitting, but sharing problems, negotiating and arguing are ok. I do not want my children to be rude, but I want them to learn and practicing asserting themselves and standing up for themselves.

I also do not make my children share. If they have company, it's thier job to decide if they want to share thier toys. If they have something very special, I may tell them that "so and so" may want to share it and that they'll have to decide whether to share it before company arrives. If they chose not to, then they must put it away. This is all part of learning to negotiate in real life. I have something you want to play with and vise versa...lets work something out.

Very interesting thread!
Lisa (mom to 3 wonderful children)
post #88 of 200
I'd agree that it's a matter of semantics. Whether some folks choose to call their mutually-agreed-upon guidelines for considerate behavior "rules" or "principles" or "discussions" seems irrelevant. For e.g., we've decided that it makes sense to take off muddy shoes at the door to save on work for everyone; but when our kids were young, we simply took off shoes most of the time because they would forget to be discriminating (i.e., forget to check for mud). When we put the "guidelines" into words--what some might call "rules"--it became easier for our young children to remember. But most importantly, if we are at someone's home and they have some guidelines/rules that we don't follow at our home, we think that the most considerate thing to do as guests is to respect their guidelines/rules (unless, in some whacky occasion that I have never encountered. the rule goes against some morals of ours). And we try to be mindful of acting with extra consideration in someone else's home.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
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 #89 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
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.
I wouldn't argue that I always hoped they would not harm our animals or each other. I've tried, in word and deed, to teach basic resepct in a kind way, rather than in a threatening way. I always think of rules as things that can be broken and we never had to to worry about breaking something that didn't exist. My children are extremely gentle and respectful people-- with animals and each other, and have gotten there without threat of punishment.

I may be thinking deeper than a 14 yr old when I think of reminders (and modeling of gentle touching) such as "Be gentle with each other. Be gentle with the kitty' as being more about values than fixed rules. . For me, it's been about helping toddler impulses in a way that is void of worry about reprimends or shame.

And I've always been about sugarcoating in that I've always tried to make transitions and other things pleasant for a child who finds such things upsetting. If they need to get into a carseat, for instance, I would offer a little treat for the car. So I am not against trying to make the unpleasant not unpleasant for a child. Same reason we don't have a 'You can't go out without your coat'. the child will either feel cold and want the coat, or I will stuff the coat in our backpack until the child does want it, or I will get the car started before he has to get in. No biggie and no meltdown.

I have 4 children who are quite cooperative and adventuresome and easy to take anywhere. They learned eary that it's possible that everyone can have their needs met in a respectful way. They know our family is more about people and their needs, rather than arbitrary rules of behavior.
post #90 of 200
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.
post #91 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nousername View Post
I'd agree that it's a matter of semantics. Whether some folks choose to call their mutually-agreed-upon guidelines for considerate behavior "rules" or "principles" or "discussions" seems irrelevant. For e.g., we've decided that it makes sense to take off muddy shoes at the door to save on work for everyone; but when our kids were young, we simply took off shoes most of the time because they would forget to be discriminating (i.e., forget to check for mud). When we put the "guidelines" into words--what some might call "rules"--it became easier for our young children to remember. But most importantly, if we are at someone's home and they have some guidelines/rules that we don't follow at our home, we think that the most considerate thing to do as guests is to respect their guidelines/rules (unless, in some whacky occasion that I have never encountered. the rule goes against some morals of ours). And we try to be mindful of acting with extra consideration in someone else's home.
Unless there is a forced consequence associated with a child not taking off her shoes, I would not consider this a 'rule'. Saying 'lets take off our shoes so we don't get mud all over our things' ' is more common sense, and might make sense to a child. Once people agree that a floor without mud is a good idea, as time goes on it's more of a habit than a rule.

It might be 'semantics' but 'semantics' is about clarity of thought and ideas.
post #92 of 200
I agree that "sugarcoating" can certainly make life more pleasant. I once discovered by accident that my first child, a very enthusiastic nurser, handled a routine medical procedure much better when she was nursing. She was breastfeeding when one of the pediatricians--not our main physician--came in to take a blood sample and did it without making us stop nursing. She barely flinched! So the next time she had to have blood drawn, I told our main physician how nursing had helped things go more smoothly for dd. The doctor (who did not seem enthusiastic about dd's extended nursing) adamantly insisted that I had to show my toddler who was the boss, and she drew the blood (from a writhing, screaming child) without letting me nurse her. We were soon looking for another physician!


Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
And I've always been about sugarcoating in that I've always tried to make transitions and other things pleasant for a child who finds such things upsetting. If they need to get into a carseat, for instance, I would offer a little treat for the car. So I am not against trying to make the unpleasant not unpleasant for a child. Same reason we don't have a 'You can't go out without your coat'. the child will either feel cold and want the coat, or I will stuff the coat in our backpack until the child does want it, or I will get the car started before he has to get in. No biggie and no meltdown.

I have 4 children who are quite cooperative and adventuresome and easy to take anywhere. They learned eary that it's possible that everyone can have their needs met in a respectful way. They know our family is more about people and their needs, rather than arbitrary rules of behavior.
post #93 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!
I still have fantasies of an Alice in a room off the kitchen, waking earlier than I, to make all the lunches and clean all the floors. That did ruin a lot of people for reality, I'd say.
post #94 of 200
I don't "discipline" (in the sense of rules/consequences) my children any more than I would an adult friend. Sure, I have expectations for their behavior - kindness, politeness, consideration of others. But I can politely ask my kids, just as I could ask a friend. "Please take your muddy shoes off outside" is a simple request. "Please always take your muddy shoes off outside" doesn't change it to rule status. It just means I don't need to say it everytime the door is opened. Well, in theory .

We always tell each other where we are going, when we will be back, and bring a cell phone along. This is not in a rule sense, more like understanding that we all like to know of each other's plans; that any of us might worry if we did not. Or perhaps it's a rule, but it is enforced by YoungSon more than me, because it is very important to him. It is certainly not something we would post on the refrigerator.

Maybe the difference we are talking about in this thread isn't exactly rules versus none, but more what happens if they aren't followed. Natural consequences versus imposed. YoungSon will worry if he feels I am out of touch - him being upset is a negative consequence for me, so I avoid causing that. Likewise, I am likely to get cranky if mud is tracked all over the house, so if the Dumplings remember that "happy Mommies are fun Mommies", they will either take their muddy shoes off, or clean up after themselves. They know that if I come home from work to a clean house, I am likely to be willing to go out to a museum or other fun activity that afternoon. If the place is a disaster, I will probably stay home to clean up, generally not too gracefully. I don't have a rule that I will only go out if the house is clean or that they must clean the house while I am away; but I am more likely to accomodate their wishes if they have accomodated mine. I think this is generally how interactions work with adults - not in a manipulative sense, but more like "I'll help you in this way; will you help me ?" Basically not a bad way to go through life, I think.

PS - I just became a senior member and didn't even notice!!!
post #95 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Unless there is a forced consequence associated with a child not taking off her shoes, I would not consider this a 'rule'.
I think that's where our disagreement lies. You define "rule" differently than I do.

Dictionary.com gives a long list of definitions for the word, but the first four are:

1. a principle or regulation governing conduct, action, procedure, arrangement, etc.: the rules of chess.
2. the code of regulations observed by a religious order or congregation: the Franciscan rule.
3. the customary or normal circumstance, occurrence, manner, practice, quality, etc.: the rule rather than the exception.
4. control, government, or dominion: under the rule of a dictator.

It appears that I'm thinking of #1 and you're thinking of #4.

As for sugarcoating, I'm not against that and do a fair share of it myself. But I'm honest with myself that sugarcoating is precisely what I'm doing. And whether anyone here wants to admit it or not, sometimes it's a form of manipulation or coercion. Sometimes, by making things pleasant, you're getting your kids to do what you think is best.

Someone commented that my statement about sugarcoating wasn't "helpful." I was just expressing my opinion, and it didn't appear as though you were conflicted or asking for help, so I'm not sure what the problem is.
post #96 of 200
I'm not thinking of number #1, either. :
post #97 of 200
I was going to say that it looks like both (all?) sides could be right about the semantics of the word "rule," but it looks like 2tadpoles beat me to it. Merriam-Webster online (below) gives an even wider range (IMO) of definitions for "rule," with 1c being very open. (There are also 3 other definition categories, including " the exercise of authority or control : DOMINION.") I think it can be helpful to distinguish, however, between principles or rules that don't involve arbitrary punishment and those that do.

1. a : a prescribed guide for conduct or action b : the laws or regulations prescribed by the founder of a religious order for observance by its members c : an accepted procedure, custom, or habit d (1) : a usually written order or direction made by a court regulating court practice or the action of parties (2) : a legal precept or doctrine e : a regulation or bylaw governing procedure or controlling conduct




Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
I think that's where our disagreement lies. You define "rule" differently than I do.

Dictionary.com gives a long list of definitions for the word, but the first four are:

1. a principle or regulation governing conduct, action, procedure, arrangement, etc.: the rules of chess.
2. the code of regulations observed by a religious order or congregation: the Franciscan rule.
3. the customary or normal circumstance, occurrence, manner, practice, quality, etc.: the rule rather than the exception.
4. control, government, or dominion: under the rule of a dictator.

It appears that I'm thinking of #1 and you're thinking of #4.

As for sugarcoating, I'm not against that and do a fair share of it myself. But I'm honest with myself that sugarcoating is precisely what I'm doing. And whether anyone here wants to admit it or not, sometimes it's a form of manipulation or coercion. Sometimes, by making things pleasant, you're getting your kids to do what you think is best.

Someone commented that my statement about sugarcoating wasn't "helpful." I was just expressing my opinion, and it didn't appear as though you were conflicted or asking for help, so I'm not sure what the problem is.
post #98 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
this appears to be a matter of semantics to me. The "rule" is that "we are gentle with each other."
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.
I think this is true...I believe we parents are given to our children for a reason,and no matter what our parenting styles, our main goal in life is helping our kids *learn* and mature to decent,happy adults....no matter how we phrase it,we *should* be influencing our children- because the reality is, they are human beings,and all humans are influenced one way or the other,it's inevitable. Why is the parent *not* a desirable influence for good for the child? Why would it be better for,say, a rude, badly behaved social acquaintance of my childs to exert more influence over my kids lives than myself or my husband? Or the values presented in a video game where violence and killing are rewarded?
One thing I know about my,and other young kids, they don't have the experience,the past heartaches,mistakes or successes to build on that might give them a 'prism of experience' with which to judge such a decision. The same goes for many social behaviors,like behaving decently to your friends,and others- we learn as we go,and we all have mentors,tutors,and teachers. Some wanted,some unwanted. Some are beneficial,some aren't.
That's why *some* of the RU things really leave me cold, I have no problem wanting to influence my kids lives, and I know for sure they're influencing mine to HUGE degree.
post #99 of 200
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."
post #100 of 200
I think if a family comes up with a set of guidelines or 'rules' and everyone agrees on them, then it's cool for the family. There might be an element of comfort in such wording.
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