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"Unparenting" - have you seen it? - Page 2

post #21 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by caspian's mama View Post
stop following me, woman!!
You're following me but I can't type which slows me down so your posts pop up first. :
post #22 of 90
RU = radical unschooling

I have seen what others describe. I think allowing children freedom is important, but I also think that "teaching" social rules is important. I've seen parents ignore children who are breaking the rules of an establishment - like literally climbing the walls of a very public store. I don't really feel like it's safe or reasonable behavior and I think it's the parents job to convey safe behavior as well as explain societal expectations. I mean, I'm very relaxed with my kids but I let them know what's expected of them. They still have a choice about acting goofy or crazy, but I definitely draw a line regarding the safety of themselves, others and private property.
post #23 of 90
now someone needs to make me a Tshirt.
post #24 of 90
i have seen unparenting in lots of families, but none of them were radical unschoolers.
post #25 of 90
regarding what annakiss said, i saw LOTS of that when i worked in retail. these "crunchy" moms would be asking me for herbal advice while their kids fought with eachother, screamed, and knocked stuff off the shelves. the mother never said boo to them, only paying attention to me, even though *i* was so distracted i wanted to scream myself. of course, when she had decided on her purchase, she hustled them back into the cart and walked out of the department... leaving me, who she raved about as being "oh-so helpful!" to clean up after her kids. :

the worst example i ever saw of this was a woman i know through a local moms' group who just sometimes came over to my department while she was shopping to "chat". there would be times *i'd* have to pause the convo to ask him to stop busting up the shelves and she'd go right on yapping, or give me some BS line about "kids will be kids" or how he's "so spirited!" i wanted to say "look, if you want to teach your kid that clerks in stores are of a lower caste and meant to clean up your crap, that's your preference, but don't pretend to be my friend in the meantime." i mean, would she come to my house and let him trash that too? (most likely. she just doesn't want to crush his fragile little spirit.)

i actually saw him smack one of my coworkers when she told him he had to stop climbing on the counter and ask his mom for help getting a cookie. again, no response from his "attached" mother.

fyi, this woman does not claim to practice unschooling. AND she's in childcare. i shuddered when i found out she was pg last year. these are definitely the people f'ing it up for the rest of us.
post #26 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by bente View Post
I sometimes have a hard time feeling connected to my kids schooled friends. They seem to run wild when no one is close by. It is as if the rules and control are in place all day and when the control is lifted they go overboard.

I have not met unschoolers with this type of behavior.
It's funny because I don't consider unparenting to be an unschooling thing, it just is what it is. There are kids in school who are similar, but my children have friends who are in schools are fit in WONDERFULLY at our house. Even with school, their parents are still VERY respectful of their children, the kids feel very supportive and they are careful and considerate of the little ones, of how things happen. Two of my son's friends I *love* because they will come and sit with us in the kitchen and TALK...and yet I know know rather surly unschooling teens that lock themselves away and roll eyes. The only problem is waiting for them to get out of school It's the relationship, not the schooling that makes the difference, I think.

But yeah, who needs effin labels?
post #27 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by bente View Post
Yeah, I am sure some people are are put off by tangled hair (specially grandparents...lol), and the such. And that might look to others who don't US like crappy parenting. It is interesting though to hear what other US consider crappy unschooling parenting - or unparenting.
speaking of grandparents and hair. My 7yo has a tail, and while the rest of his hair is very short, that one bit just bunches and tangles like nobodies business. So when we visit my dad (who has long hair) he and Sam sit in a corner and my dad gentle combs it out. Sam never minds, but he certainly doesn't want ME to do it. So, it's my dad's issue, but Sam likes the time together.

Just a lil side note. I am the mom I used to glare at (before I had kids) it's funny how much we know before we're put into a situation.
post #28 of 90
I'm not a HS, UN or RU, we haven't figured out what we're going to do with our 2 yo DD yet - anyways:

I think the mere concept of unschooling and especially radical unschooling is so entirely foreign to most people. They just have never considered it as an option, don't know anything about it and have no idea what to make of it. So it may come across as uninvolved parents, or kids being in chage, or neglect because they aren't in school, or any and all of those things.
post #29 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by _betsy_ View Post
I think the mere concept of unschooling and especially radical unschooling is so entirely foreign to most people. They just have never considered it as an option, don't know anything about it and have no idea what to make of it.
I agree. I once mentioned on a board that I let my child make decisions on matters that concern her (giving examples such as food, sleep, clothing) and people replied things like "Oh, so I guess your child will decide that you not pay the bills this month because she wants a new toy or something"

Unparenting - I have come across a German website a while ago. The title word means misbehaved, but the literal translation is unparented. Because homeschooling is illegal there these people have taken the principles of unschooling and are applying them to the rest of their lives. I love that word, unerzogen.
post #30 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by bente View Post
The US kids I have met also strike me as happy, kind and well adjusted if I can use that term.
And yet -- how many people in mainstream society see child-happiness as a parenting goal? I'm frequently hearing folks talk about "distinguishing children's wants from their needs" -- and within that framework, letting a child go out with unbrushed hair, just because it's what she wants and it makes her happy (and doesn't hurt anyone), gets labeled "unparenting" -- because it's so darned important (to many) to drive it home to our kids that "it's not all about them and what they want."

Within that framework, those of us who help our children go after what they want, and avoid what they don't want, are seen as totally falling down on the job, failing to prepare our kids for the "real world," and so on.

I've only met one radical unschooler in real life -- and she was a very involved parent. I agree with the other posters, that the "unparenting" I've seen has not been connected with unschooling.
post #31 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimomma View Post
\ It's the relationship, not the schooling that makes the difference, I think.
Yeah to that

hate to use labels but I know crunchy schooled kids, unschooled kids and even mainstream kids who act like that and whose parents don't supervise/correct them.
post #32 of 90
Haven't read through the thread yet, will go back to read after posting.

Yeah, I've met several families I would consider to be "unparenting". Two of the families sent their kids back to school after experimenting with unschooling because their kids "weren't co-operating" with unschooling (basically, the kids weren't co-operating with their moms plan to spend their days having coffee and chatting with friends all day long.

One of these families, the boy is probably autistic. The mom used to feel me out for neuro advice (ds and I both have TS.) She wanted to have her ds diagnosed with TS, like mine, and totally resisted any discussion of autism because, and I'm quoting here "they don't have drugs for that." (And don't get me started on the idea that it's preferable to have TS because that way I can drug myself into conformity.)

She also dressed in very expensive designer clothing, while her kids clothes were always second hand, always stained and ripped, and rarely fit them. They also never had winter clothing (winter lasts 6 months around here and the temp can go down to -50C), while she had a designer, $2000 parka. She was a total flake and left her husband because she thought being a single mom would be "fun."

The other mom had 5 kids (from 3 fathers, as well as a being a serial dater, she went through about 5 bf's in the year I knew her), was the staunchest RU advocate I've ever met. Until her kids got annoying, the new boyfriend got bored with playing daddy, and a family member offered to pay for private school for all the kids. Suddenly hsing was a second best option for those poor losers who couldn't afford the good schools The poor kids had been bounced through a dozen different homes (everytime Mom broke up with the latest boyfriend) and the oldest ones had already been through phases of strict Catholic school, unschooling, school at home, and back again.

The other mom wound up losing some of her kids. Two moved out very young, and called Child and Family when they left. She lost the other 3 for a while, and only got the youngest back out of 5. 2 of the kids are over 20 and still illiterate. She spent most of her days also hanging out with friends and discussing her abortions, at very great length, in front of her kids. Out of all 5 children, only the youngest will still speak to her.

Her kids were always filthy, usually barefoot, usually hungry, always unsupervised - the only boy spent most of his childhood hanging out with the drunk guys who fish down on the river bank all day long .

So yeah, I've met unparenting parents. But I'm thinking this was a bizarre little clique of moms who fed each other's weirdness and laziness. I've never met any other US who behave anywhere close to this badly.
post #33 of 90
Thread Starter 
I should have clarified more - because what I was curious about was "unparenting" where parents are wawing the unschooling/radical unschooling flag, sort of speak. I have never seen any of the things mentioned here, not among unschoolers.
post #34 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimomma View Post
It's funny because I don't consider unparenting to be an unschooling thing, it just is what it is. There are kids in school who are similar, but my children have friends who are in schools are fit in WONDERFULLY at our house. Even with school, their parents are still VERY respectful of their children, the kids feel very supportive and they are careful and considerate of the little ones, of how things happen. Two of my son's friends I *love* because they will come and sit with us in the kitchen and TALK...and yet I know know rather surly unschooling teens that lock themselves away and roll eyes. The only problem is waiting for them to get out of school It's the relationship, not the schooling that makes the difference, I think.

But yeah, who needs effin labels?
I have just now started to realize that i really is not so important to have other homeschoolers around, it is much more important that the kids have friends they like hanging around with, and they really dont care about the labels (I am not a fan of labels either, but using them here to make the point). This unschooling thing is great this way - I learn so much! Like, my kids showing me that it is entirely possible to live rich, happy lives, with good friends, in a country where homeschooling is considered a threat to the democracy

But back to the point. Radical Unschooling and attachment parenting go hand in hand, don't they? At least to a certain degree. What happends to these kids who are fishing with drunks? Have they not been nurtured as babies? What does this "unparenting" look like with babies? Among unschoolers, I mean.
post #35 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
RU = radical unschooling

I have seen what others describe. I think allowing children freedom is important, but I also think that "teaching" social rules is important. I've seen parents ignore children who are breaking the rules of an establishment - like literally climbing the walls of a very public store. I don't really feel like it's safe or reasonable behavior and I think it's the parents job to convey safe behavior as well as explain societal expectations. I mean, I'm very relaxed with my kids but I let them know what's expected of them. They still have a choice about acting goofy or crazy, but I definitely draw a line regarding the safety of themselves, others and private property.
Exactly. I have never seen unparenting among any of the people I know, however I have seen differences in *how* we all parent. My children have loads of freedom in their lives, however if their freedoms infringe on someone elses safety I'm quick to act & let them know what is & is not acceptable. This is the biggest/hardest difference overall for us.

My DD has been a target of some not so nice behaviors from a few of our friends. While the mothers do make it a point to talk with their children about their aggresiveness towards my DD, I'm finding it's not in line with how *I* would address the problem. I'm very calm & loving with my children however when they hurt another child (deliberatly), I'm very serious & firm regarding their behavior. I haven't experienced this with the other mothers & their children continue to target mine. With one family, I did speak to their son in a manner that the mother probably didn't like but my daughter felt threatened & I needed to address it. Since then he has been a very pleasant boy & I think it's b/c he knows I won't tolerate him threatening my DD. For now we no longer have get togethers with these families.

I also do have one friend whose children always have unkept hair, runny noses, crazy clothes & they're always super dirty. That being said, they are the happiest children. She is not an US but a free spirit herself. Knowing her personally, I know she's actively involved with her children. By most peoples standards though her children *look* neglected.
post #36 of 90
I know some families who practice what I consider to be "unparenting" and say that they practice CL and/or RU. I have to physically put my body in between these kids and mine to get them to stop trying to beat my children 9or other children) up, as the mothers stand by and say nothing. We avoid those families for obvious reasons. I hate it most because it gives consensual living and unschooling a bad name.
post #37 of 90
I saw a post on an unschooling mailing list, in which the mother complained that her 6-year-old daughter kept asking to learn something. The mother would say, "Okay, then, go learn something. You learn with everything you do." And she was annoyed that her daughter didn't "get" unschooling.

To me, that kid was crying out for resources, support, and parental involvement. To the other people who responded to the mailing list post, this was sad evidence that public school kindergarten had "ruined" the kid, and that the mother was going to have to be very patient and wait.

I would say that dismissing your 6-year-old with "go learn something" veers dangerously close to unparenting.
post #38 of 90
Thread Starter 
So "unparenting unschooling" looks like children asking for information/help/guidance/support and not getting it. And it looks like agressive children who are not being helped and other parents have to take measures to keep safe. Why is it that these children are agressive? What is going on in their lives that makes them agressive? I don't think humans (not even unschooled humans) are mean by nature. I dont think kids hurt other kids "just because they can".
post #39 of 90
although I agree with the comments about labeling being a double edged sword, today I'm searching around trying to find out what RU means, and I think I can safely say I'm not into RU, just US. We definitely practice unconditional parenting, and I never heard the word unparenting before.
post #40 of 90
I have seen "unparenting" from all educational philosophies, religions, classes, and races.

It is an issue on it's own that has nothing directly to do with Unschooling.
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