or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Any radical unschoolers here?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Any radical unschoolers here? - Page 10

post #181 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I think RU kids respond *very* differently to limits and/or freedoms than other kids. And maybe that's coming into play here.

If 99% of the time I'm working with my kids to facilitate their needs and wants, then the rare times where we bump up against a real limit (like your core belief that animals not be prepared in the home), they are incredibly understanding and willing to work around it in a mutually agreeable way.
: I have a huge fear of spiders (slowly getting better)...if my son had a passion for them, there just isnt the possibility of him getting one for a pet...my fear is too big. I would literally not be able to be comfortable in a home with a hairy tarantula in the next room. I would do whatever else i could to foster my son's (thankfully hypothetical)interest but that would not extend to him keeping one in our home. I can't imagine him saying to me "I understand your fear, but too bad, gimme my spider!" There's just too much respect flowing both ways in our home for that. He would really *really* love to have a dog, but we just can't have one right now (due to job schedule, rental agreements, all sorts of "good" reasons)...he doesnt like it, but he understands. He knows that my "no's" are reasonable and well-thought out because they are so rarely used. That doesnt make us any less "radical", its simply two people trying to get along and work things out, like any group of people sharing a home.


Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I think it's kind of like the M&M example that came up before....asking why RUs won't/can't answer the question, "Yeah, but what if they DON'T....?" Maybe therein lies the answer....that it is outside of our experience to have a kid who NEVER got to a healthy point of "self-regulation." That to me, is proof in and of itself, you know?
Again, yes. Thank you for articulating so well what's been bouncing around my head all day. I also think its why i so easily dismiss all the "proof" of how bad tv is for kids...as far as i know, none of the kids studied in those books were radically unschooled kids (or even homeschooled kids w/o much tv restriction probably)...i read somewhere that a group of RU'd kids approached one of the writers of an anti-tv book to discuss her research, to show her how unrestricted access to things like tv/videogames/computers (ya know "screen time" ) didnt hurt them at all, and indeed enriched their lives. There's a big difference in a child who spends 6-8 hours a day stuck in a classroom, on a highly structured schedule, with overly restrictive parents and kids who are RU'd esp from very early on. BIG difference.


Katherine
post #182 of 267
I ´ve been lying awake half the night thinking about this thread! So interesting!

And I just wanted to say, Greenlee, that I love the descriptions of your kids on your website. Beautiful!


Arriving at radical unschooling for us has been a kind of fusion/coming-together of our ideas on parenting, living, and learning as well as our values and ethics on life in general. It´s been an organic learning curve - in the very beginning schooling/unschooling didn´t even figure into the picture.
It was all about the individual my ds was. And giving him the freedom to nurse when he wanted, sleep when he wanted, cuddle when he wanted, play when he wanted etc.

Imo it doesn´t really change much. Except, now things are more two-way, rather than one-way because he is older.
Just to make it easy, I will leave dh out of the equation for now because he is at work the whole day 5 days a week.

Kathrine, I think you explain the two-way thing very well.

Sometimes I have this conversation with my ds about who wants to do what, and how we can accomplish it.
I tell him that we share our lives. And that what I want or need to do is equally important to what he wants to do. But I want to show him by example how to be flexible and understanding of other people´s wants and needs by being exactly that for him but without losing track of what I need. I mean sometimes I NEED to go to the supermarket, sometimes I need to work and it´s not an option with him staying with someone else or me going by myself.

Our lives are so closely intertwined that our needs and wants overlap - but we are still separate individuals.
I see our lives kind of as one box but with 2 other individual boxes inside. The inside boxes have perforated walls and information, respect and love ++ seeps through and goes both ways.
It´s my job though to facilitate as much as possible, and be flexible. And I see that coming back to me again and again.
(Dh puts his perforated individual box in the big one when he comes home at 6 pm.

Sometimes I have to do work when ds wants to do something that takes us out of the house. Mostly we will find a solution where we just do a short version of what he wants before I work. But sometimes I have to work immediately and 9 times out of 10 he is fine with that. But it´s never without explaining and hearing.

I don´t know if I am rambling...

The tv-thing. We made a conscious decision not to introduce tv to ds when he was young. We had a tv, but we only watched when he was sleeping. He just wasn´t very interested in finding out about it either. He did the usual stuff with the remote, turn on off, the buttons, but that was it.
The music system was another matter. We play music all the time.

Even when he got older, he just wasn´t interested. I never said "you can´t" - he was just too busy playing and making stuff to care.

Then we went to India when he was around 4.5 and he was really into animals. I mean big-time. He WAS an antelope. He had antelope language that I had to decipher when ordering in restaurants - oh there were many really interesting and fun aspects to this phase.
But this was when we introduced tv. Animal planet and national geographic.
And I see that as strewing, sharing, suggesting something just as I would with anything else today.
He loved it. Watched a lot. But he would just as happily say, enough, turn it off and go do something else.





Oh...I feel my train of thought has been interrupted...and possibly totally sidetracked. Ds is asking for breakfast. I think I have to return to this thread afterwards.

So many wise mamas here - I am in awe of all of you - an inspiration! :
post #183 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
I think that's semantics. If I am unwilling to do something my kid wants me to do because it goes against my values system, does it matter whether I say I'm "sharing" my values or "imposing" them?
No, it doesn't matter because you are unwilling. It's not a question of semantics as I see it because you are, in fact, imposing. You refuse to find any way for her to prepare and eat meat in your house and IMO that's not RU. I'm not saying that you are at all wrong to impose a "no meat cooked in the house" rule just that it doesn't sound like RU as I understand it. I do agree it would be dishonest to say you are simply sharing your values. I'm also not in the habit of analyzing families to see if they are truly RU or not. We are not 100 % RU either. I was just commenting on this example since you posted about it.

I don't think imposition of values is the same as someone having a real fear, such as Katherine and spiders. If my DH or DS had a real fear of something I wouldn't want it in the house. To me that's more like an allergy. If you have a child severly allergic to peanuts, there may need to be some restrictions about where nut products can be consumed by other members of the family and direct handwashing afterward, etc. That's not a matter of imposing a value.
post #184 of 267
In the times where I wanted something different from my children , I have just been honest with myself and my kids and have said no. I can't think of any example of this...lol...so let's pretend I did keep a kosher home and the children wanted lobster. I would say "We don't eat lobster, it's not Kosher". That would be it. Honest, to the point, no dancing. my religious values imposed on my children. It would be honest, it would be livng my life the best way I knew how, and it would include raising my children similarly. Or "You have to take thiese HIV drugs as it is the best way our chosen doctors know to keep you as healthy as we can". Or, even if my child didn't ask, I have said, "I think it's important that anyone who is American know where we're fighting a war. Come look at this map". No "Honey, would you like to see who we're bombing?" etc.

So, ultimately, I am without a specific parenting theory label.
post #185 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
No, it doesn't matter because you are unwilling. It's not a question of semantics as I see it because you are, in fact, imposing.
Well, I was going on this statement by another poster:

Quote:
First of all, just because the parent isn't willing to do something that goes against their values does not mean that they are "imposing" their values.
This poster, at least, feels that being unwilling does not automatically equal imposing.

FWIW, I think I *am* imposing my values on my child. And, I am ok with that. I was just trying to figure out what the difference is between being unwilling to do something that violates one's values and imposing one's values, as at least one poster on this thread has indicated there is a difference.

dm
post #186 of 267
It may not be "imposing" in the dictionary sense, but you are the parent and the child is the child. Your child (hopefully) looks up to you, looks to you for guidance, believes that what you think is valuable, and wants to have your love and respect. So when you "share" your ideals and values, yes, there is going to be a hint of "these are the right ones." Because there is a power differential between parents and children, full stop. Many parents (to different degrees) try to parent around that differential, and to minimize it rather than emphasize it (this is the core of gentle discipline, etc). But it's there, and to pretend that you just present some values in a vacuum and the child decides whether or not to adopt them is nuts, IMO.
post #187 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post

FWIW, I think I *am* imposing my values on my child. And, I am ok with that.


dm
Yep. Me too. It's not such a bad club to be in, really, lol
post #188 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post
It may not be "imposing" in the dictionary sense, but you are the parent and the child is the child. Your child (hopefully) looks up to you, looks to you for guidance, believes that what you think is valuable, and wants to have your love and respect. So when you "share" your ideals and values, yes, there is going to be a hint of "these are the right ones." Because there is a power differential between parents and children, full stop. Many parents (to different degrees) try to parent around that differential, and to minimize it rather than emphasize it (this is the core of gentle discipline, etc). But it's there, and to pretend that you just present some values in a vacuum and the child decides whether or not to adopt them is nuts, IMO.
Well, I said dishonest, but nuts works for me. lol Might be a UA violation, however.
post #189 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
Well, I was going on this statement by another poster:



This poster, at least, feels that being unwilling does not automatically equal imposing.
Oh, OK. Thanks for clarifying that, I do remember seeing that other post, but I didn't put it together with yours. Actually I agree that being unwilling to do something is not necessarily imposing. For example if you were unwilling to prepare meat yourself but allowed Desta to prepare it for herself (maybe opening a window and cleaning it up thoroughly would be part of the deal) I wouldn't think you were imposing your value on her. You're saying I'm unwilling to do it, but you can.

This is not meant to be a suggestion at all. I know you are not asking for advice and I'm not trying to give it. I'm just saying HOW I think in this case you could be unwilling to do something yet willing to find a way for your child to get what she wants. That doesn't mean it would work for you to do this, it's just one way someone could be unwilling to do something without saying "we don't do X in this house". Yes your child is going to know you don't exactly approve but so what? Who are these radically unschooled kids who won't do anything if they don't have their parents' full approval and praise?

A parent can share values without scaring, guilting, lecturing their children into following them.

I see how parents could try to do this though, so I know what UUMom is saying, I just don't think it's very RU to say "Well OK if you want to make kids your age in Bangladesh slave away to make that toy, it's your money" or "Well I think TV rots your brain but if you want to watch this crap I guess that's up to you".

I think there are ways of sharing your values gently as your children grow while respecting their values as well. I can't figure out what in the world would be wrong with pointing out where Iraq is in case your kid didn't know. Though I'd be more likely to point it out when we were already looking at a map, just cos I think my DS would be more into it.
post #190 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post
But it's there, and to pretend that you just present some values in a vacuum and the child decides whether or not to adopt them is nuts, IMO.
Who said that? I don't see that anyone here is trying to say that. I do think there is some major misunderstanding going on.
Sometimes kids and parents do have different values. That's what peope were specifically asking about. What if my child wants to buy a plastic toy? Some people say you don't let them but many RUers would not ban a toy just because they don't believe it's a good one. They respect that their kid may have a different opinion.
post #191 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
Well, I was going on this statement by another poster:

Quote:
First of all, just because the parent isn't willing to do something that goes against their values does not mean that they are "imposing" their values.
This poster, at least, feels that being unwilling does not automatically equal imposing.
Right, I don't--but, did you see the other parts of my posts? Which talked about the difference betw. being willing in other areas or being willing to meet the kid's need in another way? Those are big issues.

Maybe it's like the Bird Cage theory I learned about in college. It goes kind of like this: when a person experiences an act of racism or sexism or any -ism.....you can visualize a single bar forming in front of them. One bar, two bars--not that big a deal--you just move around it. But when those bars start to add up, they surround the person and then you've got a cage--and that's hugely constricting.

Maybe this is kind of the same idea. If every now and again a bar of "unwillingness" pops up in a RU family, it's not an imposition. But if lots and lots of "unwillingness" comes up--including the willingness to find something else--then that would be constricting like the cage and fall into the category of imposing ones' values on the kid.


Quote:
You refuse to find any way for her to prepare and eat meat in your house and IMO that's not RU.
I agree with that. So again, it's kind of like comparing apples to oranges. You want to talk about how sharing values in RU families *is* actually imposing those values, but the examples aren't taking place in RU families/situations. So it's kind of tricky, I think.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
FWIW, I think I *am* imposing my values on my child. And, I am ok with that. I was just trying to figure out what the difference is between being unwilling to do something that violates one's values and imposing one's values, as at least one poster on this thread has indicated there is a difference.
Maybe it's the other 23 hours in the day?

Anyway, I'm OK with you imposing your values on your kids, too, you know? But, it makes it hard to explain why I don't think other families are, if we're not looking at the same thing. Does that make sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post
It may not be "imposing" in the dictionary sense, but you are the parent and the child is the child. Your child (hopefully) looks up to you, looks to you for guidance, believes that what you think is valuable, and wants to have your love and respect. So when you "share" your ideals and values, yes, there is going to be a hint of "these are the right ones." Because there is a power differential between parents and children, full stop. Many parents (to different degrees) try to parent around that differential, and to minimize it rather than emphasize it (this is the core of gentle discipline, etc). But it's there, and to pretend that you just present some values in a vacuum and the child decides whether or not to adopt them is nuts, IMO.
Ouch.

I think most people agree that the parent probably has a degree of *influence,* but in families who are presenting *wanted* information in a "this is what works for me" way--I don't see that as "imposing." Imposing would be sending the kid to Catholic school despite her protests, telling them that they can't eat their dinner until they say Grace, etc. Things that are unwanted and forced.
post #192 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I agree with that. So again, it's kind of like comparing apples to oranges. You want to talk about how sharing values in RU families *is* actually imposing those values, but the examples aren't taking place in RU families/situations. So it's kind of tricky, I think.
Can you elaborate? What examples are not taking place in RU/CU families?
post #193 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I think most people agree that the parent probably has a degree of *influence,* but in families who are presenting *wanted* information in a "this is what works for me" way--I don't see that as "imposing." Imposing would be sending the kid to Catholic school despite her protests, telling them that they can't eat their dinner until they say Grace, etc. Things that are unwanted and forced.
Parents have a 'degree' of influence? You really think that? I am *really* trying to understand you. Talk more.

I see 'imposing' as much more than forcing a child to go to a school he doesn't like. If she needs medicine and she doesn't want to take, but you think she needs it, that is imposing, imo. Sharing your values about brushing teeth if the child doesn't want to is as well. Explaining why you won't eat McD's 'food' (which I will not) is imposing or 'sharing' with conviction. It's a game of words.

My 3 yr old old fi, might run into the traffic...and I would grab her because of fear that the universe might not be in tune withthe truck barreling towards her and I could lose by beloved child. And I am not 'afraid' to say so. I imposed my will on my child by grabbing her out of the way of danger (where she may...or may not have...been killed).
post #194 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Can you elaborate? What examples are not taking place in RU/CU families?
This:
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
Quote:
You refuse to find any way for her to prepare and eat meat in your house and IMO that's not RU.
I agree with that. So again, it's kind of like comparing apples to oranges. You want to talk about how sharing values in RU families *is* actually imposing those values, but the examples aren't taking place in RU families/situations. So it's kind of tricky, I think.
post #195 of 267
Imposing doesn't have to mean forcing. When you share your convictions, if you have any skill at rhetoric whatsoever and if your child looks up to you at all, you're pretty much imposing your views.

The dynamic between parent and child is different than between two adults. Let's say (hypothetically: I don't personally believe this): that you don't agree with the existence of zoos. You believe that even the "nicest" zoo imprisons and enslaves animals and that animals are desperately unhappy in zoos.

Your child wants to go to the zoo. You don't want to support the zoo with your admission dollars. You explain, patiently, lovingly, your views on zoos, but leave the choice up to him whether to go or not.

If your child is somewhere between three and ten, he or she probably has no counter-argument. An adult or a teen could point out the conservation efforts of zoos, the educational opportunities of the zoo, etc. But a younger child? You've just told him that zoos hurt animals. He likes animals. Does he really have a free choice now? Aren't values being imposed?
post #196 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Parents have a 'degree' of influence? You really think that? I am *really* trying to understand you. Talk more.
Can you hear how, "You really think that?" might sound to me?

Yes, I think that.

Given the common definitions of "influence" and "impose"--where one means to thrust something on someone who is unwilling, and my kids are not unwilling and I'm not "thrusting" (heh heh), then, no, I'm not imposing. If they respect my opinion and trust that my advice, thus far, has been in their best interest, and they are making decisions based on that, then that sounds more like "influence."

Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
If she needs medicine and she doesn't want to take, but you think she needs it, that is imposing, imo.
Are you holding her head back and putting it down her throat? Or are you explaining to her why you think she needs it? And maybe it matters if it's the HIV medicine mentioned upthread or some Tylenol for a low fever. ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Sharing your values about brushing teeth if the child doesn't want to is as well. Explaining why you won't eat McD's 'food' (which I will not) is imposing or 'sharing' with conviction. It's a game of words.
How is it a game of words if I tell my kid what I think might happen if he doesn't brush his teeth when he asks? And how is that imposing if his answer is, "No." and that's that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
My 3 yr old old fi, might run into the traffic...and I would grab her because of fear that the universe might not be in tune withthe truck barreling towards her and I could lose by beloved child. And I am not 'afraid' to say so. I imposed my will on my child by grabbing her out of the way of danger (where she may...or may not have...been killed).
What "afraid?" Is anyone in this thread saying they're afraid to impose their will on their kid to save their life? I think it's important to look at how it's handled from there, too. Does the kid get "popped" and yelled at for doing something stupid? Or does the parent apologize for scaring the tar out of the kid and point out the truck?
post #197 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
This:

Ah, so maybe RU/CU isn't possible in religious homes? I don't know any Muslims who would keep a dog, or those who keep Kosher who would cook a lobster. Or let someone bring in a lobster to cook in their kitchen. Some of the most wonderful families I know however, are religious Jews, fwiw, so in the end, I can see that RU/CU aren't theories that ring true or honest for me.

And that is *OK* and I don't need to debate that with anyone. RU/CU feels right to some, and if it helps people be more gentle and respectful of their children, great.
post #198 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
Are
heir will on their kid to save their life? I think it's important to look at how it's handled from there, too. Does the kid get "popped" and yelled at for doing something stupid? Or does the parent apologize for scaring the tar out of the kid and point out the truck?
People on this thread, you included, have spoken how RU is not fear based parenting, but trust -based parenting. (Fi, you said it wasn't fear that would motivate you to get your child out of traffic) I have a feeling that you're either forgetting what you post, or you're trying to be all things to all people on this thread, or something else I can't figure out.
post #199 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post
Your child wants to go to the zoo. You don't want to support the zoo with your admission dollars. You explain, patiently, lovingly, your views on zoos, but leave the choice up to him whether to go or not.
I don't think that response is RU.

How is that facilitating the child's interest?

Couldn't the parent find someone else to take the child? Could they find a virtual tour online? Could the kid pay the admission dollars?

There are tons of possiblities that don't involve shutting down the kid's desire b/c of the parent's convictions.
post #200 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
People on this thread, you included, have spoken how RU is not fear based parenting, but trust -based parenting. (Fi, you said it wasn't fear that would motivate you to get your child out of traffic) I have a feeling that you're either forgetting what you post, or you're trying to be all things to all people on this thread, or something else I can't figure out.
What?? :

*I* said it wasn't fear that would motivate me to get my child out of traffic?? Yeah, I don't recall that at all. If you could point me in the direction of that....?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Any radical unschoolers here?