Originally Posted by granolapunk
it's just hard because i feel like RU is so misinterpreted. it's hard not to want to clarify when someone says something like 'we don't RU because we feel it's our responsibility to keep our kids safe'. it sort of implies that RUers don't keep their kids safe kwim? it's like when someone says 'being a vegetarian is not for us because we really believe kids need protein'. well, a vegetarian might feel the need to clarify a bit about vegetarianism. you can't say 'vegetarianism isn't for us' if you don't really understand what it is, or maybe you think you understand it but you don't.
I don't think Radical Unschoolers don't keep their kids safe or healthy. I wasn't saying that at all.
What I was saying is, at this point in our family's life, a 100% radical unschooling approach doesn't work for us. If I let my child self-regulate on food, and he ends up getting unhealthy, I'm going to have to stop letting him entirely self-regulate on food. I can talk to him all I want about healthy food choices and his body's needs, but at three years old, he doesn't have the linguistic skills to have and understand a conversation of that level of complexity yet. I end up having to simply step in and insist "All done yogurt" (and no matter how gently I word it ("How about something else?"), with a 3-year-old, it still often results in a huge meltdown.)
Joyce Fetteroll's radical unschooling site says to turn "No"s into "Yes"es by saying things like "Yes! We can go to the library tomorrow!" when your child asks to go to the library when you can't go (because the library is closed, or you have other plans, or what have you). But my kid would just find that confusing -- if I said "Yes! ..." in response to his request to go to the library, he'd run straight for the door and get his boots.
(Then he'd get pissed and feel cheated and lied to when he realizes that we're not actually going.) Or, if he does comprehend, tomorrow's not good enough for him -- he wants to go right now, and he's miserable and bawls because he can't. Plus, no offence to Joyce, but I find it a bit disingenuous to respond with a request that is really asking to go to the library now
with a "Yes" when the answer is in actuality "No". I'd rather just explain to my kid that, sorry, we can't go to the library right now, but we'll go tomorrow or another time, and acknowledge that that makes him sad and hug him through his disappointment. To a kid with limited language skills, saying "Yes!" in that round-about manner is dishonest and mean. That doesn't mean that the "Yes" approach doesn't work in some families and scenarios, and I understand the intent
of the "Yes" policy, but at this point, it doesn't work or make sense in ours.