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"Unparenting" - have you seen it? - Page 3

post #41 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by bente View Post
I don't think humans (not even unschooled humans) are mean by nature. I dont think kids hurt other kids "just because they can".
Well come on over and meet my 2 year old. She is so aggressive and I have never dealt with this before so its all new to me. She will randomly pick a kid out of a group and push, shove, punch, hit, kick, pull hair every chance she gets. She will stalk them through out the play date, group, whatever and just attack out of the blue. I have to walk right next to her the whole time because I am so afraid she will seriously hurt someone. The one and only time she went to childcare at Bible study she picked up a chair and hit a little boy over the head with it. That said we don't go out much. I have small group of friends who understand, we try the playground when no one is there, and if we do go somewhere I watch her like a hawk.
post #42 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonK View Post
Well come on over and meet my 2 year old. She is so aggressive and I have never dealt with this before so its all new to me. She will randomly pick a kid out of a group and push, shove, punch, hit, kick, pull hair every chance she gets. She will stalk them through out the play date, group, whatever and just attack out of the blue. I have to walk right next to her the whole time because I am so afraid she will seriously hurt someone. The one and only time she went to childcare at Bible study she picked up a chair and hit a little boy over the head with it. That said we don't go out much. I have small group of friends who understand, we try the playground when no one is there, and if we do go somewhere I watch her like a hawk.
And you believe that she is mean by nature and hurting people just because she can?
post #43 of 90
But there are those who use "unschooling" as their justification for unparenting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
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.
post #44 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
And you believe that she is mean by nature and hurting people just because she can?
I didn't get the impression that Allison was labeling her child "mean by nature." She sounds genuinely puzzled, as I have been by my younger daughter's aggressiveness.

I certainly don't see my now 3yo as "mean by nature." She's actually very affectionate and loving -- and intensely physical. I think her aggressiveness is partly related to being high-energy, and liking to create excitement through the reactions she triggers. And partly related to being later in her verbal development.

It's getting better as she grows. A year or so ago, I, like Allison, avoided a lot of situations because any time we were around other kids, I needed to be "on" every minute. I still need to be very vigilant, but it's no longer the constant thing it once was.

It's hard when others assume there must be something seriously wrong with our parenting, for our child to be so aggressive. Of course, I agree with everyone who's said that we need to parent our kids, and keep them safe as well as keeping them from hurting others.

I very much believe in RU -- and I've never heard an RUer say that we should just sit back and allow our children to harm others. I've sometimes had to resort to restraining my dd in my lap to keep her from hurting other children. While some have referred to this restraint as a "punishment" -- these were not other RUers, but actually people who believed in punishment and thought it was a good thing I did it.

I don't see it as punishment, though I realize my child cried and didn't like being restrained. I would prefer to never have to restrain her, so I'm trying to be more vigilant to prevent these things from happening in the first place, and also to help her talk about anything that's bothering her.
post #45 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by llp34 View Post
But there are those who use "unschooling" as their justification for unparenting.
I've heard plenty of parents use "school" as their justification for unparenting. As in, "That's not my job, the school's supposed to teach them that."
post #46 of 90
So here is my question:

To those of you that know US or RU that are neglectful, do you do or say anything to them? What do you do or not do?

If you see them talking to an interested parent about US and representing it badly, would you step in? Or what if they are saying things to or in front of their kids about their kids that you can tell is hurting them?

In our group we're hearing statements like "I never wanted so many kids" (said in front of the kids) or "I'm sick of feeding them (the 6 and 8 yo); they're old enough to feed themselves." or we're hearing bout them being left home alone so she can go to the movies.

How do you - or do you - set a friend straight?
post #47 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganicSister View Post
So here is my question:

To those of you that know US or RU that are neglectful, do you do or say anything to them? What do you do or not do?

If you see them talking to an interested parent about US and representing it badly, would you step in? Or what if they are saying things to or in front of their kids about their kids that you can tell is hurting them?

In our group we're hearing statements like "I never wanted so many kids" (said in front of the kids) or "I'm sick of feeding them (the 6 and 8 yo); they're old enough to feed themselves." or we're hearing bout them being left home alone so she can go to the movies.

How do you - or do you - set a friend straight?
The RUers I know that ignore their children's needs are not necessarily being what I consider abusive or neglectful. I don't say anything because it's not something that I feel I should absolutely step in on. I might make a suggestion about others being affected by the behavior, however. Or I might not. Sometimes I get uncomfortable and nervous about how to proceed in that regard. It depends on the receptivity of the parent, I suppose, as well as the individual circumstances of the situation.

I have had others correct me before for things that I do not see as harmful (sarcasm, for instance) that perhaps the children heard or were around for and I'll tell you what it makes me feel - really insulted and defensive. Regardless of what is "correct" or "appropriate," it's no one else's business. Children are rather adaptable and usually understand a dynamic within a family quite well. Not to mention that people need to come to change on their own. Saying something is only going to piss them off.
post #48 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
And you believe that she is mean by nature and hurting people just because she can?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I didn't get the impression that Allison was labeling her child "mean by nature." She sounds genuinely puzzled, as I have been by my younger daughter's aggressiveness.
Okay remind me to not post unless I have time to properly word and re read what I write.

No I don't think she is mean by nature but I am seriously struggling with figuring out why she is so aggressive. Even spent a pretty penny with Scott Noelle on the phone to talk about it. I get a little uptight with aggressive threads lately as I have seen too many posts (not in the US forum) about what have parents done to make their kids so aggressive. Next time I will insert the appropriate smilies so that the humor is shown in the post. okay back on topic...
post #49 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonK View Post
Okay remind me to not post unless I have time to properly word and re read what I write.

No I don't think she is mean by nature but I am seriously struggling with figuring out why she is so aggressive. Even spent a pretty penny with Scott Noelle on the phone to talk about it. I get a little uptight with aggressive threads lately as I have seen too many posts (not in the US forum) about what have parents done to make their kids so aggressive. Next time I will insert the appropriate smilies so that the humor is shown in the post. okay back on topic...
Got it. Glad I asked! When mine have gone through aggressive periods, I have thought it was possible I might lose what what left of my mind.

And mutter to dp about how I'd actually rather be an autocrat.

FWIW, aggressiveness in my kids is usually related to an inability to manage emerging communication abilities.

So spitting on, sitting on, poking and slapping your sister is clearly the finest choice. I find myself yelling "hey" from across the room as I cross it to come help.

May your dd's phase be mercifully short. May no one say "boys are just more aggressive than girls" to you before it is over. May she take to sleeping a lot more hours to give you lots of breaks. :
post #50 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by llp34 View Post
But there are those who use "unschooling" as their justification for unparenting.
And there are those who use Christianity as an excuse to beat their children.

Christianity is still not the issue.

It is the parents.
post #51 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
And there are those who use Christianity as an excuse to beat their children.

Christianity is still not the issue.

It is the parents.
And there are those who use "preparation for the real world' as an excuse to coercively educate their children.

"Preparation for the real world" is not the problem: The problem is that some folks don't see freedom as compatible with "the real world." Also, they're focused on preparation whereas unschoolers tend to focus on living joyfully now. We think living joyfully now is the best preparation for living joyfully in the future.

And conforming now is the best preparation for conforming in the future.
post #52 of 90
I am learning so much from this thread! Thank you thank you.

I definitely have a problem seeing RUers as neglectful parents--as a function of RU. It sounds like they just have some shortcomings that they haven't examined yet, as we all do.

I am glad someone brought up the Consensual Living element. Having read Unconditional Parenting, I don't see how neglecting a child who is crying out for guidance and attention could be looked at as a virtue. Or even the child who is hurting someone else, even if you don't see that as a cry for more parental involvement. We are trying to raise compassionate people (which is good for them as well as others); we have a responsibility to explain how their actions impact others and not allow them to continue inflicting pain, when & if they aren't getting it.

I also have a DD who I believe to be a reformed "bruiser" (a title she earned at an LLL meeting when just over a yr old). She is still high-energy and very physical (climbing is her thing), but she hasn't been nearly as aggressive since I've quit my job to stay home with her. She will still act out with her peers (2-3 yr olds), but in what I consider to be more of a normal give-and-take sort of way.

Very oddly, she will still see or know about (as in a planned visit) a baby or child that she is about to come in contact with, and say "Hit baby" or "Hit little girl". It's weird. I will say "No, we don't hit babies/little girls", and that's usually the end of it. It's like she's recalling her days as a "hit-a-holic" and reminding herself (or I am her sponser reminding her) that she no longer acts that way.
post #53 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by leila1213 View Post
Very oddly, she will still see or know about (as in a planned visit) a baby or child that she is about to come in contact with, and say "Hit baby" or "Hit little girl". It's weird. I will say "No, we don't hit babies/little girls", and that's usually the end of it. It's like she's recalling her days as a "hit-a-holic" and reminding herself (or I am her sponser reminding her) that she no longer acts that way.
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post #54 of 90

I've seen unparenting in an RU'er

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonK View Post
Well come on over and meet my 2 year old. She is so aggressive and I have never dealt with this before so its all new to me. She will randomly pick a kid out of a group and push, shove, punch, hit, kick, pull hair every chance she gets. She will stalk them through out the play date, group, whatever and just attack out of the blue. I have to walk right next to her the whole time because I am so afraid she will seriously hurt someone. The one and only time she went to childcare at Bible study she picked up a chair and hit a little boy over the head with it. That said we don't go out much. I have small group of friends who understand, we try the playground when no one is there, and if we do go somewhere I watch her like a hawk.
OT: My ds was extremely aggressive from about 11 mos to about 4.5 years old. Its frustrating and bewildering isn't it? I was the object he most liked to hurt (drew blood once! ) . Hugs for you! It sounds like you've worked really hard to help her with this. It sounds like you are a religious person. I am not, but something amazing happened anyway; I found praying over him while he slept helped the behavior!

As far as unparenting in RUers? Yes, I know one family where this occurring. The marriage is unraveling and they don't seem to notice how their kids are acting out and uncared for.

But I've seen tons of unparenting outside of the RU world.
post #55 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
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.
Yes I agree. Unschooling looks like unparenting to people who don't "get" unschooling - or just are not unschoolers. But when does RU look like unparenting to another RU'er?
post #56 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonK View Post
...we try the playground when no one is there, and if we do go somewhere I watch her like a hawk.
That's exactly what I did when my DS was younger. It wasn't the exact same stuff as you're dealing with, though aggressiveness was certainly part of it, especially between age 2 and 3.5. When you watch her well you are protecting her, too.
Just to give one example, one time my DS (2 at the time) was getting ready to hit another little girl with something (I can't remember what but I do remember it was fairly heavy and would have hurt a lot). Because I was watching I could see it coming a mile away and intervened. It helped the little girl but it also helped my DS--he didn't get into any trouble, we didn't have to leave immediately, etc.

Not to mention kids who hit back or have big siblings who do so, or parents who think they can scold your child...

Your DD will get less aggressive and you definitely didn't make her this way--how annoying that anyone would suggest that!
I know if I could go back I would be a lot less frustrated with and a lot more understanding of my DS.
post #57 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertMommy View Post
But I've seen tons of unparenting outside of the RU world.
Yes, I just think that when it happens in other situations, people assume, "Well, at least they're in school, or at least they're following a curriculum -- so at least they're 'getting something' while their home is falling apart."
post #58 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Yes, I just think that when it happens in other situations, people assume, "Well, at least they're in school, or at least they're following a curriculum -- so at least they're 'getting something' while their home is falling apart."
I think it may be more than that though - specifically more than just academics. I'm not an unschooler although I am pretty relaxed. I "get" unschooling enough contrary to a pp to know the difference between RU or unschooling and unparenting.

There are absolutely parents who are struggling across the board. But some of the unparenting I have seen from RUs is a deliberate intentional choice not to provide guidance to their kids, rather than just a lack of skills in that area. And it is compounded in the instances I have seen by the fact that the community for an RU-unparented child tends to be looser so there are fewer adults available to those children to help them learn social skills and appropriate behaviour (as an example).
post #59 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonK View Post
Well come on over and meet my 2 year old. She is so aggressive and I have never dealt with this before so its all new to me. She will randomly pick a kid out of a group and push, shove, punch, hit, kick, pull hair every chance she gets. She will stalk them through out the play date, group, whatever and just attack out of the blue. I have to walk right next to her the whole time because I am so afraid she will seriously hurt someone. The one and only time she went to childcare at Bible study she picked up a chair and hit a little boy over the head with it. That said we don't go out much. I have small group of friends who understand, we try the playground when no one is there, and if we do go somewhere I watch her like a hawk.
I have to say, I would have to doubt that this is due to her just wanting to randomly hurt people. I haven't read responses to this yet, so sorry if I am redundant. My 18 month dd is very much like this. I actually posted about this a while back. She will "randomly" run up to a kid and push them down or grab their hair, or hit them in the face, etc. I struggled with this for a long time because it was obvious to me that she wasn't just being mean, and she wasn't even angry when it happened (when she is angry, she just screws up her face and screams, lol). People kept telling me to put her in time outs, or spank her, or smack her hand, etc. It just didn't feel right to me.

I *think* I have finally figured out what she is trying to express when she does that. She seems to have an early desire to play *with* kids rather than just beside them (as kids of her age usually do), BUT, she doesn't have the language development to express that, so she runs up and pushes them because that gets them to notice her and react to her. She is too young to realize that it is an undesirable reaction.

I still have had a hard time because I have a 5 year old who still sometimes (often) needs help negotiating social situations and it seems that is when she will "get" another kid, while I am distracted with my 5 year old. So, what is working for us is not going places where I am distracted (she stays with dh or MIL during LLL meetings, since those are important for me to go to) and I have talked with my friends about it and I specifically ask one of them to watch her when ds needs something and I am going to be distracted.

We have started taking a mommy and me gym class and I specifically put her into a group with older kids (19 months to 3 years) because she is more likely to have older kids want to play *with* her and have arranged to have someone else watch ds so I can be one on one with her there. The first class, she ran up to a little girl and I caught her just before she pushed her. I said, "Dd, do you want that little girl to play with you?" And she said "Yeah." So, I said, "Well, why don't you go get that ball over there and give it to her." She did and it totally diffused the situation while also teaching her a more appropriate way to interact with kids and to ask them to play.

It is so frustrating because I do ALWAYS have to be "on guard" with her around other kids. I can't just sit back and talk with my friends, and sometimes I feel resentful of that, but I just remember that this time isn't forever and if I can help her learn this now, it will save her alot of heart ache in the future!!! She isn't being mean or angry, though, she is trying to express something that she doesn't know how.

I, obviously, don't know your dd, but she sounds so similar to my dd, and she is too young to be just hurting because she likes to hurt. She may be hurting to get a reaction, but that is different from just hurting to hurt. Good luck, it sure is a frustrating situation you are in!!!
post #60 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by gini1313 View Post
I, obviously, don't know your dd, but she sounds so similar to my dd, and she is too young to be just hurting because she likes to hurt. She may be hurting to get a reaction, but that is different from just hurting to hurt. Good luck, it sure is a frustrating situation you are in!!!

So, that is what I get for posting without reading the responses, lol. Anyways, hopefully some of my experiences will help you. I have been so frustrated with dd sometimes in the past, but now that I understand her better, I can even explain it to the parents of kids she does hit so that they understand where she is coming from...
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