Difficult Things - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 4 Old 12-26-2013, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
kolenda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My daughter is 8 nearly 9 and we are very much unschoolers, going with the flow what feels right.

 

Wonder how everyone deals with things like smoking or alcohol for example.

 

Happy Christmas to everyone by the way

kolenda is offline  
#2 of 4 Old 12-26-2013, 08:46 AM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 4,987
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)

To be clear, I don't extend my preference for experiential learning and child autonomy, etc, to potentially dangerous activities.  If my opinions are slightly more understanding and less rigid (a big "if"), it has nothing to do with my unschooling philosophy.  

 

In that regard, I will say that I was raised by 2 smokers (until I was 14, when the both quit) and they would allow me sips of their very occasional drinks.  Nothing puts one off alcohol like a taste of gin and tonic on an 11yo tongue.  Blech!  I personally have no trouble with allowing sips of alcohol for a taste.  But, we don't drink often, not even wine or beer.  As far as cigarettes, first, I currently don't know anybody that smokes cigarettes.  Seriously.  And even when I hung out in the smokiest coffeehouse in North America (Last Exit on Brooklyn in Seattle, if you are wondering), I still never smoked*.  

 

No, I'm not worried about smoking.  What if they got a little older and they did start?  I'm not sure what I'd do.  I'd be pretty upset, but I know that I wouldn't be so upset that I'd risk our relationship.  I do believe that if they really wanted to smoke or drink, they would do it somewhere.  I don't need to allow smoking in my home, and I'm not the kind to allow drinking parties because "They are going to happen anyway".  There is a limit to that idea, IMO!

 

These are my thoughts and opinions, and I would have had them whether I unschooled or schooled.  Please, do not take them to be "unschooling philosophy".  I would respect other unschoolers, even if others were more strict.  Kids need to be able to trust that we have their backs in case something truly dangerous arises.

 

* (directly :p​)  But seriously, the health effects of living in a smoky room, whether you smoke or not, is just as bad, if you read about the health effects of second hand smoke.  It's not just lighting up.


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
SweetSilver is offline  
#3 of 4 Old 12-26-2013, 10:36 AM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)

My approach has been to ensure strong family relationships, to model positive and responsible behaviour, to allow my kids to make their own choices (within the bounds to legal and gross moral bounds), to support them in learning from their choices. That's just me as a parent, and unschooling has been an extension of that into the realm of education. In the realm of alcohol, drugs, smoking and sexuality it's been the same deal. Unless you ascribe to the idea of radical unschooling, I think parenting approaches to lifestyle issues are separate from unschooling.

 

Where I live it is legal for minor children to drink alcohol in a home or place of residence under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian. So last night at Christmas dinner three of my kids were offered and chose to drink wine. One (the 10-year-old) chose sparkling apple juice because she likes the taste better, while the three teens chose a glass or two of wine. Last year ds (then 16) and dd (then 18) got a little drunk after Christmas dinner -- they were laughing about the stupidity of it last night. It wasn't a big deal. It gave both of them experience with feeling out their limits, discovering how responsible decision-making gets jeopardized after a couple of drinks, in a safe environment. I know that they've both been in situations where getting completely sloshed amongst friends has been an option, and have chosen to limit their intake to modest amounts. Perhaps having had at-home experience with "decision-making under the influence" helped them make good choices elsewhere. I think that places that push the drinking age to 21 and don't allow it in the home for younger adults are making a grave mistake: they're not allowing young people to get any experience with responsible drinking until they're well out of the sphere of parental influence. How can they learn to drink responsibly when they're only drinking with people who have exactly as little experience with alcohol as they do?

 

I don't foresee any of my kids smoking cigarettes. Where we live it's definitely not part of the culture of cool -- it's something that old ladies do. Oddly enough it's a similar thing with marijuana here: smoking dope is something that's done a lot by the ageing hippies in our town, the 60-somethings. So it doesn't have the cachet amongst young people that it otherwise might. Not that I think of it as being categorically different from alcohol, but it still has a little less social acceptability, even here in rural BC Canada.

 

To extend your questions into sexuality ... again, I believe that keeping relationships open, allowing my kids to make their own informed choices, an supporting them in staying safe, is the best approach. My eldest has been sexually active (she'll be 20 next week) and she has made good choices IMO. Ds17 and dd15 have not become sexually active, but both are in relationships where the question of their readiness for physical aspects of the relationship is an ongoing choice. Dd15 does definitely not feel ready, and I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised by the boundaries she's defined in her relationship both physically and emotionally. Ds is a little more ambivalent; his girlfriend is a couple of years older, very mature, but their relationship is more casual in nature and they don't live in the same place so that's created some natural limits.

 

I tend to be fairly liberal and libertarian in my views. That has led me both to unschooling and to allowing my children a lot of autonomy in lifestyle choices. But there are plenty of other reasons for unschooling, and a lot of them don't necessarily involve "permissive parenting" (not a term that I like, but it probably technically applies to me).

 

Miranda

triscuit likes this.

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#4 of 4 Old 12-26-2013, 12:21 PM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 4,987
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
 

 

I tend to be fairly liberal and libertarian in my views. That has led me both to unschooling and to allowing my children a lot of autonomy in lifestyle choices. But there are plenty of other reasons for unschooling, and a lot of them don't necessarily involve "permissive parenting" (not a term that I like, but it probably technically applies to me).

 

Same here, adjusted for younger children, of course (we are not dealing with relationships or peer influence or any of that yet).  I think my liberal/libertarian views more likely led to extend that philosophy to education, not the other way around.  In that respect, my views regarding smoking/drinking/sex (which have yet to be tested) are indeed related to unschooling, but those views came first, unschooling more recently.  


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
SweetSilver is offline  
Reply

Tags
Unschooling

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off