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Any radical unschoolers here? - Page 12

post #221 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoalaMama View Post
The self-identified RU families seem to be saying that they are able to interact with their children without imposing. The self-identified non-RU families are saying that they don't feel this is possible. It hardly matters whether or not *I* feel I could stick to my own moral ground without imposing on my kids when I'm considering someone else's assertion that they can. It might sound difficult/complex to me from my perspective, but I trust that others are being truthful when they express that things look different from their vantage point. It seems obvious to me that both sides are 'right', from the perspectives of their own experiences.
Thank you for stating this so clearly.

I can't imagine going into the Unassisted Birth forum (when I've not done unassisted birth) and telling women there that their births were not safe, that there is no way that those births were safe, and then proceeding to answer questions about unassisted births with my opinion as someone who doesn't do that--especially with words like "nuts" and "dishonest."

This thread is very, very confusing to me, I must say.

And that's not even considering that it might be RU to "let" my kid pick his punishment........
post #222 of 267
The dishonesty part comes when you think that by 'sharing' your reasons for not allowing bratz dolls, or candy for breakfast etc, you are not pulling a power play on your child. You can't say you raise your child in freedom and trust, and then say you are not 'imposing' your own personal values, or that you are not putting your own emotional baggage on your kids as you 'share' your reasons they shouldn't want something you don't want them to want.

True RU does no such thing. True RUs do not share with children they they think they are wasting their time watching TV, or that they can't have candy or watch TV. It might well be CU, but it's not RU.

It's the not respectful parenting part people have an issue with. It's the saying you are only mildy 'influencing' your children to see it your way. That somehow there are resectful ways to tell a kid you don't value his need for a certain food or toy. Be honest about what you are doing, at least. When a parent says no, and tells the child with honestly why, that's less damaging pschologically to the child than a parent believing a they can share their values without undue 'influence' on their developing child.

Really. it's not the call for respectful pareting that is at issue, as much as much as it might make people feel better if they think they are being picked on by people 'who don't understand'.
post #223 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
And that's not even considering that it might be RU to "let" my kid pick his punishment........

That came from a parent who does identify as RU.
post #224 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnearthmomma View Post
It was really lack of a better term...disagreeable behaviour I guess? how do you want e to word it?
I hope you didn't think I was picking on your or calling you out in any way. I just wanted to be clear about my personal POV.

I guess I prefer to call a behavior something specific. Naughty feels kind of shaming and vague to me somehow maybe? It's like the cringe I get when the Supernanny (not that I watch often) forces kids to sit on her "naughty stool".


Quote:
I am not a fan of my 5 year old sassing and when she does, there are consequences for her actions. I am not rearing my children to be disagreeable and disrespectful people.
I can relate to that I think. (The not wanting to be spoken to rudely, etc.) I just prefer to handle it without a punishment focus.
post #225 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
The dishonesty part comes when you think that by 'sharing' your reasons for not allowing bratz dolls, or candy for breakfast etc, you are not pulling a power play on your child. You can't say you raise your child in freedom and trust, and then say you are not 'imposing' your own personal values, or that you are not putting your own emotional baggage on your kids as you 'share' your reasons they shouldn't want something you don't want them to want.

True RU does no such thing. True RUs do not share with children they they think they are wasting their time watching TV, or that they can't have candy or watch TV. It might well be CU, but it's not RU.

It's the not respectful parenting part people have an issue with. It's the saying you are only mildy 'influencing' your children to see it your way. That somehow there are resectful ways to tell a kid you don't value his need for a certain food or toy. Be honest about what you are doing, at least. When a parent says no, and tells the child with honestly why, that's less damaging pschologically to the child than a parent believing a they can share their values without undue 'influence' on their developing child.

Really. it's not the call for respectful pareting that is at issue, as much as much as it might make people feel better if they think they are being picked on by people 'who don't understand'.
If you think that I've been advocating telling kids that they can't have candy or watch TV or buy a Bratz doll and calling it RU, then I don't even know what else to say........
post #226 of 267
Quote:
True RU does no such thing. True RUs do not share with children they they think they are wasting their time watching TV, or that they can't have candy or watch TV. It might well be CU, but it's not RU.
I think I can share the things I think about or maybe have concerns about and still be RU. I'm not sure that I would say they were wasting their time, but I absolutely think that talking about these things is just fine. I see it as giving my opinion on something just as they give me theirs.
post #227 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
I think I can share the things I think about or maybe have concerns about and still be RU. I'm not sure that I would say they were wasting their time, but I absolutely think that talking about these things is just fine. I see it as giving my opinion on something just as they give me theirs.
Honestly, you are one of the most honest RU parents I 'know'. I don;t think you believe you're merely influenicng your children. I also know you allow Bratz, so I dont think about you when I think of dishonest communication.

I also 'know' Dar, and I believe her to be extremely honest as well.

Parenting is a big effing deal, and thinking we aren't a huge and major infulence on our children and the development of their values, no matter our theories, is...well...not honest. lol

What I don't get is why some people (not you) have difficulty with debating the pros, cons, misunderstandings, problems or mertis of RU or this new CU theory. No theory is infalliible-- and it shouldn't be threatening to get asked difficult quetions or have people disagree.
post #228 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
If you think that I've been advocating telling kids that they can't have candy or watch TV or buy a Bratz doll and calling it RU, then I don't even know what else to say........
If you think this is just about what you think , I don't even know what else to say.

And ftr, I have nothing personal against you in any way. Anger is not a part of this discussion for me. Just so you know.
post #229 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
The dishonesty part comes when you think that by 'sharing' your reasons for not allowing bratz dolls, or candy for breakfast etc, you are not pulling a power play on your child.
What I think you're not getting is, many of the RU parents on here who are crunchy or don't like plastic or whatever, don't disallow these things for their children.

Quote:
You can't say you raise your child in freedom and trust, and then say you are not 'imposing' your own personal values, or that you are not putting your own emotional baggage on your kids as you 'share' your reasons they shouldn't want something you don't want them to want.
What's off here is your assumption that all other parents try to persuade their children not to want things they want.

Quote:
True RU does no such thing. True RUs do not share with children they they think they are wasting their time watching TV, or that they can't have candy or watch TV. It might well be CU, but it's not RU.
I haven't visited the crunchy website, but I agree with the pp who said crunchiness is no different from any other set of values, in terms of how it can work with RU. We share our values with our children, and of course they're very influenced by us, but ultimately they make their own choices.

Maybe we're just debating the difference between influencing and imposing. I suppose, technically, children have no choice but to be influenced by the parents who've nurtured them and been a huge part of their worlds from birth -- but is being born into a family an "imposition?"
post #230 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
If you think this is just about what you think , I don't even know what else to say.
Since I was the one who brought up "influencing" and we had several posts discussing *that* particular word, I'm not sure how I should infer that the following was not directed specifically at me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
It's the saying you are only mildy 'influencing' your children to see it your way. That somehow there are resectful ways to tell a kid you don't value his need for a certain food or toy. Be honest about what you are doing, at least. When a parent says no, and tells the child with honestly why, that's less damaging pschologically to the child than a parent believing a they can share their values without undue 'influence' on their developing child.
And that now we all get to pass some RU-cred test with you? Can I show you my Bratz dolls and pass the muster of being *honest*?
post #231 of 267
Clearly, each person has their own interpretation of what they read.

Where I see dishonesty and denial, others see somethiing quite different, obviously.

I wouldn't debate that, not for anything.

If people reading this come away with ideas that help them better respect their children, and the needs of their children-- big -eyed dolls from China- or whatever, then this thread has not been for nothing.

But on the subject of Bratz, and coming from the mother of 2 boys and 2 girls, none of whom like dolls of any kind, which kind of bums me out-- if you diss Bratz, and say your kid loves Bratz, then it really is the limutus test of your willingness to be trust your child.

(And yes, I've shared my "I wish someone else in this family liked dolls' desire with them, and yes, they've laughed-- "Poor mom. She wishes she had a kid who cared about dolls or fashion and who will oooo and ahhhh at the dolls at FAOs, or all the Jimmy Choos at Saks. Next life, mom". But I digress).

If you reject your kids' limitus test, whatever it may be...and it's hard to know which desire is the test, you're not quite being the open parent you set out to be. So for the child's sake-- be open to things you consider crap. And without the drama of your baggage.
post #232 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
Since I was the one who brought up "influencing" and we had several posts discussing *that* particular word, I'm not sure how I should infer that the following was not directed specifically at me:



And that now we all get to pass some RU-cred test with you? Can I show you my Bratz dolls and pass the muster of being *honest*?
LOL You have a good sense of humor! I like you.

I gotta say that the only people you have to be honest with is your kids. If you're doing that, yeah for all of you, yk? But you already know that.
post #233 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

Maybe we're just debating the difference between influencing and imposing. I suppose, technically, children have no choice but to be influenced by the parents who've nurtured them and been a huge part of their worlds from birth -- but is being born into a family an "imposition?"
Maybe we are. And if we are, good. People should consider their words and how their children interpret them.

If this conversation helps people to think about their level of honesty (and perhaps their manipulation disguised as sharing), cool.
post #234 of 267
Wow I have read this whole thread and I recognize a lot of folks from the GD board!

I think we most closely identify as radical unschoolers but like any "system" or set of beliefs, it is not without its minor wrinkles After all, communism looks really damn good on paper

What I am saying is, we attempt every interaction with our daughter to be one where she feels heard, respected, honored, and where she gets her needs and wants met... while also advocating for our own wants and needs and ultimately 99+ % of the time we come to solutions that leave us all feeling happy, respected, at peace, honored and heard.

We do not limit tv -- we didn't introduce it until she was around two because we felt that it was sort of a *she is neither consenting or not consenting, she doesn't know or care so we will defer to our judgment* situation -- but now it is limitless and she self regulates quite well in our opinion...

or food ... though we are vegetarians and it is a similar situation as above -- we haven't introduced it though there isn't a desire yet....

or bedtime

or toothbrushing

on and on...

You have to remember though, our daughter is only 26 months old and there are some issues we are not grappling with yet that I anticipate we will be dealing with in a couple of years (the meat issue) -- I suppose my goal is to be as honest as possible without putting a big opinion on it "Meat comes from animals that had to die, mostly in not kind ways" --

I do agree that we influence our children, how can we not??? They see what is modeled to them and even if you don't vocalize that you don't agree with something or shame them, children are smart, they know what their parents agree with or not. I think the most effective way of creating an environment where they will feel free to "dissent" from your opinion or disagree is to create those years of trust, those years of listening, honoring, doing everything you can to meet their needs and wants, coming to mutually agreeable solutions -- keeping free of shame or punishment, lectures, coercion and the like.

We are not perfect, we are human, We love our daughter with everything we have in us, just as I trust most parents do -- especially on this board -- but, we do strive, in every interaction with our daughter to allow her the freedom to blossom into the person her Creator (whatever you perceive that to be) formed her to be.

Unconditional love means that there is nothing our daughter could do or say or be that would make us not love and support her --- of course there will be things that may not please us or fit in with our personal way of life -- and we aren't under an obligation to ignore and dishonor our own boundaries (or break federal law! ) to meet her wants --- (though we will always, always make every attempt to come to a mutually agreeable solution)

...however, even at the tender age of 26 months she has taught us more about life than any of our contemporaries or elders. We want to preserve that, not mold it to what we "think is best". Our daughter has shown us in nearly every situation that she is an amazing self regulator, an amazing and wise decision maker, and has a remarkable ability to seek out our counsel/help/opinion when she feels it will be to her benefit. We do everything in our power not to exploit that and I believe we are doing well.

So in this tit for tat, this or that, conversation of what is this and what is that, who is what or who is not -- I dunno where we fall exactly and I am not going to put a label on it other to say that consensual living and radical unschooling is what we most closely resemble in our life with our daughter and eachother.

Oh and as a side, I absolutely believe that this lifestyle can and does fit in well with spirituality -- we are Christians and we do just fine. For the record, I say this without agenda, but to answer a question by angelbee

Thanks for reading!
post #235 of 267
My husband and I were discussing this last night and he made a good point.

We practice AP as well, so do a lot of parents. Just because one family might not be able to work co-sleeping for whatever reason, but abides other 'tenets' of Ap, that does not make them a non-AP family.

I think, with any parenting style, if you are hard lined you are going to set yourself and your children up for failure. That is why I believe it is important to take your parenting on a child by child basis while holding your ideals as secondary. Think about it, if you are holding your parenting ideals first, how is that honoring your child and their unique individuality? From where we sit, it doesn't. Giving our children logical consequences and makin g her a part of deciding those consequences does not make us NOT an RU family, just like the family who co-sleeping doesn't work for is STILL an AP family.
post #236 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy View Post
Wow I have read this whole thread and I recognize a lot of folks from the GD board!

I think we most closely identify as radical unschoolers but like any "system" or set of beliefs, it is not without its minor wrinkles After all, communism looks really damn good on paper

What I am saying is, we attempt every interaction with our daughter to be one where she feels heard, respected, honored, and where she gets her needs and wants met... while also advocating for our own wants and needs and ultimately 99+ % of the time we come to solutions that leave us all feeling happy, respected, at peace, honored and heard.

We do not limit tv -- we didn't introduce it until she was around two because we felt that it was sort of a *she is neither consenting or not consenting, she doesn't know or care so we will defer to our judgment* situation -- but now it is limitless and she self regulates quite well in our opinion...

or food ... though we are vegetarians and it is a similar situation as above -- we haven't introduced it though there isn't a desire yet....

or bedtime

or toothbrushing

on and on...

You have to remember though, our daughter is only 26 months old and there are some issues we are not grappling with yet that I anticipate we will be dealing with in a couple of years (the meat issue) -- I suppose my goal is to be as honest as possible without putting a big opinion on it "Meat comes from animals that had to die, mostly in not kind ways" --

I do agree that we influence our children, how can we not??? They see what is modeled to them and even if you don't vocalize that you don't agree with something or shame them, children are smart, they know what their parents agree with or not. I think the most effective way of creating an environment where they will feel free to "dissent" from your opinion or disagree is to create those years of trust, those years of listening, honoring, doing everything you can to meet their needs and wants, coming to mutually agreeable solutions -- keeping free of shame or punishment, lectures, coercion and the like.

We are not perfect, we are human, We love our daughter with everything we have in us, just as I trust most parents do -- especially on this board -- but, we do strive, in every interaction with our daughter to allow her the freedom to blossom into the person her Creator (whatever you perceive that to be) formed her to be.

Unconditional love means that there is nothing our daughter could do or say or be that would make us not love and support her --- of course there will be things that may not please us or fit in with our personal way of life -- and we aren't under an obligation to ignore and dishonor our own boundaries (or break federal law! ) to meet her wants --- (though we will always, always make every attempt to come to a mutually agreeable solution)

...however, even at the tender age of 26 months she has taught us more about life than any of our contemporaries or elders. We want to preserve that, not mold it to what we "think is best". Our daughter has shown us in nearly every situation that she is an amazing self regulator, an amazing and wise decision maker, and has a remarkable ability to seek out our counsel/help/opinion when she feels it will be to her benefit. We do everything in our power not to exploit that and I believe we are doing well.

So in this tit for tat, this or that, conversation of what is this and what is that, who is what or who is not -- I dunno where we fall exactly and I am not going to put a label on it other to say that consensual living and radical unschooling is what we most closely resemble in our life with our daughter and eachother.

Oh and as a side, I absolutely believe that this lifestyle can and does fit in well with spirituality -- we are Christians and we do just fine. For the record, I say this without agenda, but to answer a question by angelbee

Thanks for reading!
I super-enjoyed reading this post! Thank you so much for jumping in!
post #237 of 267
Hey thanks!
post #238 of 267
Here are my thoughts on Radical Unschooling.

I prefer not to always put my kids in the position of having to ask for something (which then puts me in the position of having to choose whether to say yes) sometimes I just give them things. Isn't it a pleasant surprise when someone does something nice for you spontaneously?

Concrete examples: sometimes I stop at our favorite ice cream place on the way home from wherever. I don't say anything, I just pull in. Sometimes when I set out a platter of food, I include something sweet along with the veggies and cheese and nuts. But it's not just about food of course. I'm choosing to defer my dinner to write this, so I'm obsessing, lol.

Given only healthy/PC things to choose from of course a child will only make healthy PC choices. But the world is not filled with only healthy things to choose from. I prefer to to give my children a large data set on which to base their decisions.

Example: We don't eat sugary/salty/fatty foods all day long, but my kids aren't denied fries or soda when we go out to eat. At Easter or Halloween I don't just dole out one piece of candy after dinner. My DDs decide when they are in the mood and when they are done. As they always have with all consumables since birth.

Real limits are real limits. What I rebel against is the setting of arbitrary limits "for their own good." Also I feel that we in general need to think creatively to get around perceived obstacles.

Example (non-food related!): our power went out for a few hours the other night during a storm. My daughters were watching Charlotte's Web at the time. I was resigned to finding activities for them to do by candle light or flashlight until it came back. But they were very upset that they couldn't continue watching their video. My DH came up with the idea of putting the DVD into our laptop and the girls were able to finish the video before the battery gave out.

I hear people being worried about zoos, and plastic toys. I understand that it's not just about putting dollars into the economy for products that we don't believe in, but maybe also a little bit about "How will my child learn that these things are bad if I don't teach him?"

We all went to zoos as children and made up our own minds about how we felt about them. We all had plastic toys. We all arrived at our current "place" in different ways. We all had to go on our own journey to decide what to do for a living, whether to get married, whether to have children, to eat meat, to practice a religion, etc.

No matter how we were raised, we have made our own choices that are sometimes similar to our parents choices, but often are very different. We need (IMO) to let our children go on their own journey and make their own choices even if the "place" where they end up is different from ours.

I know the place I'm in now as far as food, shopping, housework, religion, etc. is very different from where I was even 5 or 10 years ago (I'm 35.) I am Always Learning. That's the beauty of unschooling. It doesn't stop when you're 18. Or ever.

It is possible to be an unschooler with regard to academics and not extend that trust to other areas of life such as food, bedtimes, and TV, but I think RU increases the amount of joy, mutual trust, and respect between parent and child, and strengthens the family bond.

My two cents,

-Vijay
Unschooling mom to Charlotte, 4, and Violet, 2
post #239 of 267
Well put Vijay, great post!
post #240 of 267
I think you make a good point about how "mainstream" parenting tends to forgive losing one's temper or falling back on ideas like "children should be seen and not heard," etc.

I feel bad when I get mad at yell at my oldest and have to remind myself mentally that he is only 8 even though he looks and acts much older most of the time ... he is so in tune with his emotions and other people's needs that most of the time I feel like I live with Yoda or some other wise old soul disguised as a child.

One of my dearest friends is very mainstream and thinks that I need to do a lot more "assertive" parenting with ds. She seems to catch him when we've been on the road for six hours with a crying baby and grumpy dh, so of course, he's frazzled and lets it out in a kid's way ... being crabby and honest "I am hungry. NOW" What she doesn't see is his usual everyday behavior. At home, if he hears the baby cry, he comes in to make sure everything is okay; he helps me with the laundry or heavy lifting, etc. because he knows my hands are full; he offers to get me a drink of water when he's getting one for himself ... He thinks about other people's needs more often than not. He has done this because he is always loved and welcomed and sees us trying to tune in to each other.
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