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raising UNoppressed children

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
I am trying to raise my children oppression free! Anyone else here interested in doing this? What does it mean for you?

For me it means letting my child develop her own sense of self and learning not to be bound by societal standards. This does NOT mean no limits or anything but I don't want them to be trapped by what other people think she should do.

For example...I was always told as a child I didn't want to be a geologist or something because I would never find a job or make any money...thus it wasn't worthwhile. I was always told that I didn't want a pink house because it was ugly and would make my neighbor's think I'm wierd....ect. ect....I want my DD to find her OWN sense of self regardless of what other's think and I want to create a safe and nurturing environment for her to do that.
I love my in-laws but most of them won't even discuss certain things (like BFing or sex) because its "dirty" and not "proper". I don't want my DD feeling so trapped like that....

So what does unoppressed mean for you? What are your strategies? How doe you balance this with setting safe limits for their well-being?
post #2 of 89
I think much the same as you.

I see no reason to put limits on future occupations simply because they won't earn any money. I want my kids to be happy and content in what they do no matter the monetary compensation. If they want to play guitar on the street corner for change or be investment bankers, that's fine with me.

As for social constructs, I find most of them silly. My dh is in many ways stereotypically a woman and I, a man.
Our ds's favorite color is pink and most of his clothes are pink. He has just discovered that it is the "girl" clothes that come in pink and with sparkles. He thinks that's not fair, but it isn't going to stop him from wearing them.

No topics are off limits for discussion. I figure, if they are old enough to ask a question, they are old enough to get an answer.

I also respect him by showing interest in the things he is excited about even if I think it is dull as dirt. He is important to me, so his interests are, too. I want him to like what he wants, not what he thinks I want him to like.

I try to restrict the limits I place on him to respecting other people and their property. I try to teach him, he can't hurt someone (including feelings and ears) nor destroy something they own without consequences. His own property, he can do what he wants with it, but we/he may not have the money to replace it and then he has to go without. In regards to his phyical safety, he has been remarkabley adept at pushing his limits without getting seriously hurt.

I am definitely trying to raise unopressed children. I want them to find their true selves. One of the main reasons I had kids was becasue I wanted to find out who they were/are.
post #3 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by turnipmama View Post
For example...I was always told as a child I didn't want to be a geologist or something because I would never find a job or make any money...thus it wasn't worthwhile. I was always told that I didn't want a pink house because it was ugly and would make my neighbor's think I'm wierd....ect. ect....
OMG that's awful.

This is coming from an art historian with no job at the moment who is also the former owner of the house known as "The Pink House". It actually wasn't all pink, it was white with pink trim but it was still pretty pink
post #4 of 89
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post #5 of 89
:

Subscribing.

This is so important to me. I want my children to be their own people. I don't care if they are wealthy, or prestigious, or if they follow in my footsteps, or what others think of them. I just want them to think for themselves and be true to their values.

We talk about everything. I answer questions. I try to give reasons besides "because I said so." Sometimes I fail.

I most definitely need to learn to be better at this.
post #6 of 89
:

This is really important to me too. The difficulty that I have found so far is ridding myself of my own 'conditioning' from my childhood that would completely enable me to provide the support that is needed for my son to live a completely unoppressed life.

Mostly this revolves around financial stability.


Peace
post #7 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelKnee View Post
I also respect him by showing interest in the things he is excited about even if I think it is dull as dirt. He is important to me, so his interests are, too. I want him to like what he wants, not what he thinks I want him to like.
YES! As an example, I'm learning to gain an appreciation for computer games and cartoons. There's nothing more disrespectful (or oppressive) than labeling our children's toys and chosen pasttimes as "junk."

I actually find I'm learning a lot of new things by trying to see things through my children's eyes.
post #8 of 89
Have you heard of The Unprocessed Child: Living Without School by Valerie Fitzenreiter?

Here is an article by her: http://www.unschooling.info/articles/article9.htm

http://books.google.com/books?id=_Ec...with-thumbnail


Pat
post #9 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Have you heard of The Unprocessed Child: Living Without School by Valerie Fitzenreiter?

Here is an article by her: http://www.unschooling.info/articles/article9.htm

http://books.google.com/books?id=_Ec...with-thumbnail


Pat
Thanks Pat! I´ve just bookmarked both links - look forward to reading!
post #10 of 89
Raising unoppressed children is a major parenting goal of mine. I feel there is no other way for them to reach their fullest developmental potential.:

Awesome link, Pat. I've bookmarked it too.
post #11 of 89
This is extremely important to me, too. And very, very hard to do, since my son goes to school.

I have a very sensitive child. He just really, really hates the fact that others might laugh at him, or think hat he does is stupid etc. He is at the same time a kid that IS unique. He loves to have long hair, he loooved the colour pink for the longest time, he has pretty "geeky" interests etc. So, how do I help him be who he is?

How to help a child that by nature seems to be very afraid of failing, of being different..
post #12 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelKnee View Post
He has just discovered that it is the "girl" clothes that come in pink and with sparkles. He thinks that's not fair, but it isn't going to stop him from wearing them.

.
I am completley on board with unopression, but I am wondering how you will teach your children to handle the social issues that come with a man wearing sparkly pink clothes. kwim?

(My 4 yr old ds is the same though, and I dont have aproblem with it. My dh is worried about him getting made fun of though.)

You cant raise unopressed and oblivious kids, right? That cant be good-that they would be unprepared for the social more's of our society.

Not that that means they should conform either.
post #13 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelKnee View Post
If they want to play guitar on the street corner for change or be investment bankers, that's fine with me.
I basically agree with everything you said, but I just wanted to say that line made me laugh out loud, which I don't do much right now.

My first FIL is a street busker, who plays guitar on the street corner for change.
My current FIL is...well, basically, he's an investment banker - maybe not exactly that, but so close as to be the same thing.

Interesting examples, from my perspective!
post #14 of 89
One of my goals is to raise kids who can think outside of the box, but not get locked out of it either.

This means to me a mix of pragmatic and idealistic dreams.

I would never tell my kids "you don't want to be X, because you won't make any money."

I WILL tell my kids "X is a noble profession. However, you need to recognize that the profession doesn't earn a lot of money, and that will require some sacrifices on your part - you won't be able to live at an upper middle class lifestyle AND be an X - since inheriting a fortune isn't an option ; )". And i would help my kids think through what they would have to do in order to succeed.

My SIL was told that she "could be anything she wanted to be". But then she decided she wanted to be an RAF pilot, despite the fact she has very poor eyesight and (certainly at the time, and probably still) all air force pilots were required to have 20/20 to even apply. But she wouldn't listen. She kept telling her parents that they were trying to "oppress" her when they said she might want to rethink her plans. It wasn't until AFTER she was rejected that she actually realized that no, in fact, she couldn't actually be ANYTHING she wanted to be.

I am all for giving kids the ability to think blue sky thoughts, but a healthy dose of pragmatism can also keep everyone sane. Hell, being pragmatic is how a close friend of mine flourished in his acting career. He went to school for financial management - he realized that if he got a job where he managed a theater, he had a better chance of getting introduced to directors and producers - and they were more likely to hire an actor who could both act AND balance their books. So far, he has never had to work as a waiter... which is saying something for an actor!

Siobhan
post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
I am completley on board with unopression, but I am wondering how you will teach your children to handle the social issues that come with a man wearing sparkly pink clothes. kwim?
He already deals with it some. Kids at the playground have told him "those are girl clothes". He just shrugs it off and keeps playing or finds someone nice to play with. He has plenty of friends who accept him for who he is. Friends who understand that boys can like pink and sparkles. If he grows up to be a man who likes pink and sparkles, I'm sure he will continue to find people who are accepting.
post #16 of 89
I struggle with this on one issue with my dd & dh. Dd is 2 1/2 yrs old and loves to play mommy. She pretends she's pregnant, says there's a baby in her uterus, pushes her baby out and nurses her. She loves talking about being a mommy when she's older. I think this is great. Of course, she's been influenced by me: I love to talk with my friends and sisters about pregnancy, babies and children and she's heard all this talk. My dh doesn't think this is so great. He feels that she should get more out of life than being a mother. Yeah, that makes him sound like a jerk. He doesn't mean to offend, he just hasn't found his place in this life and wants a lot for her. He wants her to have more options than motherhood.

So, which one of us is oppressing her? Me, for teaching her about being pregnant and enjoying the mommy game, or him for saying she should do more?
post #17 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
One of my goals is to raise kids who can think outside of the box, but not get locked out of it either.
I love this.
post #18 of 89
Editted to remove link to a site. It seems super commercial to me now. I did not remember it being like that.
post #19 of 89
I think it is important to validate children's wishes and dreams. My sister wanted to be a dog with a mustache when she grew up and no one told her she couldn't be that. She just figured it out on her own ... although before a lip wax I do mention she has achieved her goal - lol.

My cousin wanted to marry her dad, and the rest of us thought about it and decided this was not a viable option for her, he was simply too tall.

Kids ideas will change and grow and as long as the parents respect their feelings and encourage them to grow, they'll continue to dream big. Without big dreamers, our world would be a pretty sad place.
post #20 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
I like this site too. I don't agree with all of it, but it's great for getting one to start thinking out side of the box.


I'm going to try raising my children unoppressed also. Dh and I were telling my ILs about the savings account that we started for dd to use for college. My MIL jokingly said, "What if she doesn't want to go to college?" I think I surprised her when I said, "That's fine; she can use it for something else, like a car or starting a business..."

I really don't care what my children end up doing, as long as they're happy and kind people, I'll be very happy.


My mom still tells my 14yo brother to go change his clothes if she feels they don't match. It bothers me so much! I have to admit that I'm kind of excited to see the look on her face when Dd is old enough to pick out her own outfits because I'm sure she won't approve.
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