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Any radical unschoolers here? - Page 6

post #101 of 267
Oh, I wanted to add that I don't see any reason why the TV questions shoud not be a part of this thread, as it comes up for RUs. It's all part of the same spectrum, imo.

I have to say I don't see how one can raise children in an open, radical or consensual way at the same time they try to put parental limits and agnedas on food, TV and toys etc .

"I know you really want a plastic Bratz/some candy/to watch Sesame St., but as your mother I do not believe they are good for you." How can you on one hand trust the child to grow in freedom and then take that freedom away when it's something you don't tlike? "I know you really want this Barbie/candy cane/to watch Sesame St, but these things are not healthy for you". I just don't see how this works.

Do you manipulate a child's emotions to the point he would feel guilty wanting a Barbie doll? If, after the long sad story about pollution and child slavery in China with a 5 yr old, would you consider that the child came to the conclusion freely that he didn't really want to play with the Barbie? Or has the parent put adult baggage on a child's choice of toy. Is that fair? Or, " if you have sugar you are damaging your body" so you scare the kid into not eating a piece of choclate cake at a b'day party?

This approach might be Crunchy Hsing or whatever, but it's absolutely not, ime, RU.
post #102 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Check it out.
It is RU. RU is allowing a child his own path. That can occur while choosing to follow one's own moral compass while sharing information (not lectures or moralizing), and without edicts or limitations. RU and sustainable living are not mutually exclusive. :

Pat
I have. But I don't feel it spoke to me, although there were some interesting topics. I trust my kids 100%. Even if they have candy or Pokemon at times. I really have no parts of me that feel good about trying to convince my kids of anything, no matter what I think. I introduce, discuss, share. My child's need for the creative outlet of plastic Pokemon , just for example, trumps any need of mine to declutter or not buy plastic. My computer and car contains more toxin -producing plastic than any toys my children have ever owned.

Imo, it would be totally hypocritical to try and talk my kid out Neopet or whatever , esp when nobody is telling me I can't have something "For my own good or the good of the planet". Our computers do a lot of damage to the earth. A child can play with Playmobil forever, and even a plastic Woody doll can 'live' for generations. We can't say the same for the thing that lets us communicate on MDC.
post #103 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
even many RU don't realize that RU could mean candy all day, and no teeth brushing at night at times Or piles of made- in -China plastic toys from the MIL, or even the child's own piggy band.
That's what I find frustrating about RU. When I have, in the past, asked questions about "What IF your kids never self-regulate with a healthy balance?" the answer is always some version of "They will." It's like it's ok to say you don't limit candy if you don't think your kid will gain a bunch of extra weight from munching m&m's all day, but what if your kid munches m&m's all day and gains unhealthy amounts of weight? There doesn't really seem to be an RU answer to that. I spent a couple of years reading about and talking with people about TCS and RU, and I never got satisfactory answers to a lot of my questions.

dm
post #104 of 267
Thread Starter 
Katherine, I really enjoyed your post. It has me thinking A LOT.

I do have my own views about TV, but I have given it quite a bit of thought since writing in a pp. I agree that nothing our children do is a "waste of time". I guess what I do not like is when I see parents who are actually trying to controll their kids with TV- "here, watch a video, that will get you out of my hair" and then the kids get hooked on tv when they really could be doing something that takes a little more creativity/imagination.

That said, I do acknowledge that it is a judgement of mine that TV doesn't require many brain cells to be stimulated. Same goes for my bias toward "made in China junk". I just can't help my negative feelings toward supporting child labor and adding to our landfills with toys that break after a couple uses.

I am a less than perfect parent learning along the way. I love to hear others opinions and I in no way mean to offend others choices. I will temper my opinions because my intent really is to respect everyone's choices.

Peace,
jenn
post #105 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
That's what I find frustrating about RU. When I have, in the past, asked questions about "What IF your kids never self-regulate with a healthy balance?" the answer is always some version of "They will." It's like it's ok to say you don't limit candy if you don't think your kid will gain a bunch of extra weight from munching m&m's all day, but what if your kid munches m&m's all day and gains unhealthy amounts of weight? There doesn't really seem to be an RU answer to that. I spent a couple of years reading about and talking with people about TCS and RU, and I never got satisfactory answers to a lot of my questions.

dm

Yes. Yes. Yes.

In so many ways it's confusing. Keep reading, Pat has a list called Crunchy Hsing that might be something that feels more comfortable for your family.
post #106 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantorganics View Post
Katherine, I really enjoyed your post. It has me thinking A LOT.

I do have my own views about TV, but I have given it quite a bit of thought since writing in a pp. I agree that nothing our children do is a "waste of time". I guess what I do not like is when I see parents who are actually trying to controll their kids with TV- "here, watch a video, that will get you out of my hair" and then the kids get hooked on tv when they really could be doing something that takes a little more creativity/imagination.

That said, I do acknowledge that it is a judgement of mine that TV doesn't require many brain cells to be stimulated. Same goes for my bias toward "made in China junk". I just can't help my negative feelings toward supporting child labor and adding to our landfills with toys that break after a couple uses.

I am a less than perfect parent learning along the way. I love to hear others opinions and I in no way mean to offend others choices. I will temper my opinions because my intent really is to respect everyone's choices.

Peace,
jenn
Well said!
post #107 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Yes. Yes. Yes.

In so many ways it's confusing. Keep reading, Pat has a list called Crunchy Hsing that might be something that feels more comfortable for your family.
Do you have a link for that?:
post #108 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Oh, I wanted to add that I don't see any reason why the TV questions should not be a part of this thread, as it comes up for RUs. It's all part of the same spectrum, imo.
I agree with your quote below. That is why I don't see how *limiting* tv (etc.) could be relevant to an RU discussion.

Quote:
I have to say I don't see how one can raise children in an open, radical or consensual way at the same time they try to put parental limits and agendas on food, TV and toys etc .
RU per all of my understanding does not place parental limits and agendas, we agree. And certainly, RU is not the path preferred by all folks.



Quote:
"I know you really want a plastic Bratz/some candy/to watch Sesame St., but as your mother I do not believe they are good for you." How can you on one hand trust the child to grow in freedom and then take that freedom away when it's something you don't like? "I know you really want this Barbie/candy cane/to watch Sesame St, but these things are not healthy for you". I just don't see how this works.
That is not sharing information without an agenda, I agree.

Quote:
Do you manipulate a child's emotions to the point he would feel guilty wanting a Barbie doll? If, after the long sad story about pollution and child slavery in China with a 5 yr old, would you consider that the child came to the conclusion freely that he didn't really want to play with the Barbie? Or has the parent put adult baggage on a child's choice of toy. Is that fair? Or, " if you have sugar you are damaging your body" so you scare the kid into not eating a piece of chocolate cake at a b'day party?
Trust is the basis of the philosophy of RU. Fear is what most parents' (culturally aquired) baggage brings and creates the opportunity to deschool themselves, I agree.

Quote:
This approach might be Crunchy Hsing or whatever, but it's absolutely not, ime, RU.
There actually is another path. No agendas or parental limits imposed upon a child, neither with guilting or lecturing is the path of CrunchyUnschoolers. I am not sure what you read there; and many folks do come to unschooling with their own agendas and fears. But, the Crunchy Unschoolers are radically unschooling, I believe anyone would agree because they are not imposing their values on their children, while choosing and modeling their own values.


Pat
post #109 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
That's what I find frustrating about RU. When I have, in the past, asked questions about "What IF your kids never self-regulate with a healthy balance?" the answer is always some version of "They will." It's like it's ok to say you don't limit candy if you don't think your kid will gain a bunch of extra weight from munching m&m's all day, but what if your kid munches m&m's all day and gains unhealthy amounts of weight? There doesn't really seem to be an RU answer to that. I spent a couple of years reading about and talking with people about TCS and RU, and I never got satisfactory answers to a lot of my questions.

dm
I try to reframe my question to "What IF my husband never self-regulates with a healthy balance?" That is the same level of respect and autonomy that we aspire to honor in each member of our family.

How is my husband to judge, what is a "healthy balance" for ME?


Pat
post #110 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigeresse View Post
Do you have a link for that?:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CrunchyUnschoolers/ It is very radical unschooling.

Pat
post #111 of 267
: I've got a question.

As a parent, I have the control over how the money I earn is spent. I have to take into account all of our needs...everything from shelter and fuel, to clothing & household things. I also am the one who chooses whether or not to purchase other items that are not necessary to survival....things like a television, toys, books, games, whatever. The question is: can a parent who chooses not to keep a television (or video games, or candy, or insert whatever other controversial item here) in my home still be considered RU by the vast majority of RU parents? I'd love to know what mamas here think. I feel that as a mother, I do limit some things just naturally. By not bringing them into my home. While I do have a TV in my home, I don't buy junk food and I don't buy lots of other things that I don't feel a need to spend my money on.

Or, is RU more a question of - you already have candy, junk food, and whatever else in your home, but you do not impose parental limits on these things that you already own?
post #112 of 267
Oh! My posts keep getting deleted by my bro computer!

My question was can religion/spirituality (in my case christian) go hand and hand with RU?
post #113 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
: I've got a question.

As a parent, I have the control over how the money I earn is spent. I have to take into account all of our needs...everything from shelter and fuel, to clothing & household things. I also am the one who chooses whether or not to purchase other items that are not necessary to survival....things like a television, toys, books, games, whatever. The question is: can a parent who chooses not to keep a television (or video games, or candy, or insert whatever other controversial item here) in my home still be considered RU by the vast majority of RU parents? I'd love to know what mamas here think. I feel that as a mother, I do limit some things just naturally. By not bringing them into my home. While I do have a TV in my home, I don't buy junk food and I don't buy lots of other things that I don't feel a need to spend my money on.

Or, is RU more a question of - you already have candy, junk food, and whatever else in your home, but you do not impose parental limits on these things that you already own?
I believe that most RU circles would feel that family money is spent communally, rather than top-down.

For instance, Dh is the bread winner in our family. That certainly doesn't mean HE is the only one making decisions on how that money is spent.

Also, there are RU families who have not introduced, nor denied tv. The process becomes relevant when the child wants something that the parent doesn't agree about...

how that is determined is the crux of Trust vs. Control, ime.

Pat
post #114 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
Oh! My posts keep getting deleted by my bro computer!

My question was can religion/spirituality (in my case Christian) go hand and hand with RU?
I imagine that there are more Christian than non-Christians unschooling. Here are two Christian unschooling yahoo groups. There are more based on specific locations if you're interested.

Christians can & do Unschool! Yes! Chr-U parents unwind, unschool ourselves, and help each other.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Chr-U/

Yes, Christians can Unschool! Do you find that you don't really fit in the Christian homeschooling groups around town, but yet, you don't fully fit in the unschoolers groups either? So do we! Here is your place to find peace.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/unscho...ansinokcmetro/

RU and morality/spirituality certainly can go hand in hand. It just depends on who is directing the moral and spiritual path, imo. I consider my morality and spirituality self-evident in every action. But, I don't impose that ds follow my path.


Pat
post #115 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
The question is: can a parent who chooses not to keep a television (or video games, or candy, or insert whatever other controversial item here) in my home still be considered RU by the vast majority of RU parents? I'd love to know what mamas here think. I feel that as a mother, I do limit some things just naturally. By not bringing them into my home. While I do have a TV in my home, I don't buy junk food and I don't buy lots of other things that I don't feel a need to spend my money on.
Great question! My line of thinking is that if you'd have the freedom to have/watch TV or eat candy they should too. Many RU families feel that the money belongs to the family rather than just to the adults. Of course I know parents have to make the actual decisions when the kids are really little, but then most 1 year olds don't much care how mom and dad spend the next paycheck. It's when they get older and verbal that things get more interesting than that though.

I think in many RU families these things would be handled with a lot of discussion and problem solving. So let's use junk food as an example. A family has had a pretty junk food free home up to the present and the kids have started to request more junk food during shopping trips or etc. The parent(s) is resistant to spend the money on it because they don't see it as healthy and they worry (naturally) about the children taking in an unhealthy thing. I think the discussion could maybe involve things like this:

*The parent shares their concerns about junk food and it's affect on bodies. (sugar, weight issues, heart health, diabetes, trans fats, cholesterol, chemical dyes, etc.) Invite the kids' thoughts on those things. Have they ever over done it on a sugary or greasy food? How did they feel about that? What do they think a diet too heavy on sugary, greasy foods would do for a person?

*The parent sharing thier concerns they might have about kids choosing junk over more nutritious foods too often, and the result that can have on health. Invite the kids to talk openly about what they feel healthy amounts of junk food are. What is the nutritional difference between an apple and a candy bar, in their opinion?

*The parent could share that they are conflicted about spending money on something they don't see as valuable or "good". Ask the kids about things they value enough to spend money on and things they wouldn't. Why?

*Discuss the role money has in your family budget and lifestyle. Invite their thoughts.

*Discuss the possibilities of them earning/having money of their own to purchase junk foods when they wish to have them. Ask them for their ideas too. Are they interested in learning some recipes for some homemade junk food? Or could the grocery budget just allow for a junk food option twice a month, 3 x a month??


Just some ideas to bounce around. The idea is that everyone is thinking, talking, sharing thoughts/concerns, and being heard equally.
post #116 of 267
We are unschoolers and Dd, Dh, and I follow our own religious paths. Ds is an agnostic at this point. I think religion and spirituality are totally welcome in radical unschooling, unless you are talking about parents deciding that kids must practice a religion they do not wish to practice.
post #117 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
That's what I find frustrating about RU. When I have, in the past, asked questions about "What IF your kids never self-regulate with a healthy balance?" the answer is always some version of "They will." It's like it's ok to say you don't limit candy if you don't think your kid will gain a bunch of extra weight from munching m&m's all day, but what if your kid munches m&m's all day and gains unhealthy amounts of weight? There doesn't really seem to be an RU answer to that. I spent a couple of years reading about and talking with people about TCS and RU, and I never got satisfactory answers to a lot of my questions.

dm
I understand your frustration, and i've seen it in other parents as well, yet i'm not sure what the solution is. I believe parents, when they say their child won't "self regulate" (i really hate that term, because again its about control, *someone* being in control even the child...whereas in our home the issue of control just doesnt come up often but i digress...) and yet i still agree with the "they will" sentiment. Barring a child having some sort of disability (lets say...autism)in which their ability to "self regulate" (if you will) is impaired, or is otherwise atypical...i think all children will work out a balance. If you bought bowls and bowls and bowls of M&Ms, your child would happily eat them all and ask for more, for months on end? Because that has not been my experience, i have trouble speaking to that, on how to address that.

But i know that since i'm trying to adopt, and if i'm placed with an older child that child will likely need alot of structure in the beginning, i'd have to say do what you feel is best for your child. I think we talked about this before on the adoption board (discussing parenting a child w/ RAD vs AP principles)...that sometimes you need to forget the 'theory' and look at the child and go w/ your gut instincts. I would just caution that you should first be sure that you arent dealing w/ other baggage (about what children "should" be eating for example, or what consitutes healthy food, or even whether a few extra pounds that might be temporarily gained is worth it for the child to explore overeating for awhile...) and therefore needing to work on your own issues instead of the perceived issues of the child. (Gosh, i'm feeling so inarticulate on this thread, and have no idea if this is making any sense. )

I still think there is a way to RU kids w/ atypical needs, and there is a list called SHINE with Unschooling (i think)that has been helpful to many parents.

I think sometimes parents think that RU parents just sit there and "let" their kids do whatever. To some extent i do, but we discuss ALL the time about everything, about calories, sugar, how certain foods might make you feel better, how many calories are in a candy bar and what that means, about how we feel after spending hours on the computer vs not doing that. I have my son telling *me* "Put the french fry down!"


Katherine
post #118 of 267
Quote:
Barring a child having some sort of disability (lets say...autism)in which their ability to "self regulate" (if you will) is impaired, or is otherwise atypical...i think all children will work out a balance.
I am glad you brought that up because that is where I am stuck. With children with autism who often cannot self regulate or weigh options or hear reasoning, I don't know if we could ever be called RU b/c I have to impose limits and guides at times. But as far as *education* goes...that's a different story.
post #119 of 267
There are many families who radically unschool with children with "special needs", including autism.

Pat
post #120 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
I try to reframe my question to "What IF my husband never self-regulates with a healthy balance?" That is the same level of respect and autonomy that we aspire to honor in each member of our family.

How is my husband to judge, what is a "healthy balance" for ME?


Pat
I guess it just comes down to a fundamental difference of opinion on what it means to be a parent. Especially (but not solely) because I have a child with a life-threatening and as yet incurable disease who came to us with loads of behaviors that negatively impacted her health, I just can't take the attitude that it's not my job to judge what's best for my child. But I felt that way even before that particular child (my third) joined our family.

dm
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