Radical unschoolers and rude kids - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 200 Old 12-11-2006, 06:47 PM
 
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For those of you without 'rules' I'm curious to know how you handle situations when your children are confronted with the rules of others - ie in someone else's home who clearly states their rules, or in the library, theatres which have rules? Do you expect your children to comply with the rules of the environment that they are in, do you avoid those situations or do you let your children choose whether to follow those rules?
I'm truly curious - not trying to debate.
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#62 of 200 Old 12-11-2006, 06:50 PM
 
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Yep. That's exactly what I've seen too. In addition to some pretty shocking social aggressiveness~I don't mean immature isolated stuff~I mean barking orders to all the other kids, degrading them, ordering children not to speak to another child, that kind of thing...all with the parent looking on...
This sounds like Lord-of-the-Flies-non-schooling to me.
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#63 of 200 Old 12-11-2006, 06:50 PM
 
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PS I admit this: I used to very strong in my thoughts about 'age appropriate' films and other scary/violent things for wee ones. I've grown more relaxed as the years have gone by, although I will be honest and say Grand Theft Auto is probably always going to be beyond my comfort zone-- even for adults. lol That's just a little too real for me.
Nice post! I so agree that it's hard to explain how this kind of lifestyle operates to someone who is totally unfamiliar with it. It's like describing the exact taste of an orange to someone who's never tasted one. I could describe it as "sweet" or "tangy" or "a little sour" just the same way I could describe this lifestyle as "peaceful" and "interesting" but they still wouldn't have an real complete understanding.

Ahh Grand Theft Auto. My kids own the San Andreas one, and Ds wants the other. Let me tell you if you want to start some talking mention that game in a crowd of parents! I can honestly say that I do not care for the game. I never have. But, my kids do. We've talked about why it's just not my deal, and they've talked about why they like it. Coolness.

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#64 of 200 Old 12-11-2006, 06:57 PM
 
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OK, trying to understand here--what about rules about, like, needing an adult's permission before doing something? You might not call it a rule, but it's still something you want your kids to do...is this an issue of semantics?
My kids asked and still ask for my help with many things. When they were little it did come out "Mom can I take a bath?" when they weren't quite ready to handle running a bath alone yet, etc. We all (adults and kids) generally check in with each other before taking off to go somewhere because that's just polite I think. My 15 year old wouldn't come to me with "Can I please go to the mall?" but instead would likely say "I'm thinking about heading to the mall in a bit." Then I'd say whatever I thought about that, and so on.

Some things are not under our control, and we get that. My Dd wants to get her nose pierced as soon as she can. We believe she needs to be 14 here to do so and then she will need my permission. She came to me about it, we chatted on it, and she plans to do it next year. Sure she could go do it herself or get a friend to do it. I am pretty sure she won't though. Is this the kind of thing you are meaning?

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#65 of 200 Old 12-11-2006, 07:09 PM
 
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i think we sometimes do freak people out when we talk about how we don't have 'rules'. It sounds like a free-for-all, when it's absolutely not. Maybe we just don't explain well enough what we mean.
....

I keep trying to figure out how to better explain what 'no rules' means to people just starting on the journey.
FWIW, as someone just starting on the journey, the phrase "principle based" made a lot more sense to me than "no rules". What I have come to realize is that I want my kids to understand a much more complex moral code than "obey your parents or you'll end up in timeout".

Back to the topic at hand:

I've only encountered this particular group online, but I suspect a family like that belonged to a homeschooling group we used to belong to. I never actually met them, because they were always canceling at the last minute for reasons like "we were all up until 2am, and so we're too tired to go today". Generally, (while rude) it wouldn't be a big deal , but a few times the mom had been the organizer of the activity in question. I don't know exactly what it teaches kids when you don't honor commitments.

Anyhow, I'm glad you brought this up, because, quite frankly these people scare me. :

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#66 of 200 Old 12-11-2006, 07:10 PM
 
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For those of you without 'rules' I'm curious to know how you handle situations when your children are confronted with the rules of others - ie in someone else's home who clearly states their rules, or in the library, theatres which have rules? Do you expect your children to comply with the rules of the environment that they are in, do you avoid those situations or do you let your children choose whether to follow those rules?
I'm truly curious - not trying to debate.
Karen
We've talked about respecting other people's things and spaces and feelings since the kids were quite young. It's the basic respect we treat people with. My kids haven't had a problem with most of that. My son raised his voice some or ran in the library and was "scolded" by the librarian. It was a natural consequence... they pop up now and again.

My SIL once got after Ds when he was like 6 or so for putting his feet on her sofa. She said "Would you do that at your house on your couch?" expecting him to say no and put his feet down. He responded with "Yeah, of course I would!" We had no issue with clean feet on the couch. We did talk about respecting different house rules, and that when we can do something as simple as not putting feet on the sofa to help people feel happy and respected it's probably a good idea.

Some stuff we chose not to respect. Everyone has their limit. It varies.

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#67 of 200 Old 12-11-2006, 07:26 PM
 
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Ooo, I'm loving the discussion in this thread. We might have to get a little more radical in our unschooling.
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#68 of 200 Old 12-11-2006, 07:29 PM
 
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To OP, good suggestions,check out lots of groups,the more diverse,the better.... you never know what type of "style" family you'll click with-
Our family clicks very well with another hs family- we are incredibly relaxed/or unschool types,they're classical scholars....
Ok, I don't mean disrespect to anyone when i say this...I haven't read the whole thread yet,but I have to say something.... I do think the whole RU philosophy has to bear some blame here for rude kids. I think as we mature,and are given the benefit of learning to be well mannered in society,children slowly but surely progress,and make appropriate changes in their behavior,b/c they're learning that rudeness is unacceptable.
...BUT... what if I RU my kids,and feel that expecting them to adapt to 'societys' burdens and expectations is wrong...then what? other kids should adapt to what MY child wants? And it's all ok?
Because that is exactly what some who subscribe to this philosophy seem to be thinking....
In my opinion, not leading our children in the way to go,especially where treating others well is concerned is doing them HUGE disservice,b/c guess what? the reason others don't want to be around our kids who act this way is b/c we,the parents,aren't giving our kids the benefits of what we already know, "if you don't play nice,ain't nobody gonna' play with you!"
And I'm sorry, but if saying"well, as an RU kid,my child isn't rude,just expressing himself honestly..." c'mon folks, there's a huge difference between honesty,rudenss,and learning *tact*.
And those of us who don't agree with RU(we're simply the relaxed sort of folks who have no real label ) When I see one of the many RU kids I know,who at the age of 10-11 years old haven't yet grasped the social niceties of getting along that most other kids have grasped by the age of 4,I do think yes, certain patterns of parenting,and apologetic reasoning (no,it's not the RU,it's just my childs innate,bright honesty) have a lot to do with this sort of kid.
Not that it's just the RU kids(or parents) it happens in all groups,it's probably more a mindset than educational choice....
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#69 of 200 Old 12-11-2006, 07:49 PM
 
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I have to wonder if this is a byproduct of some of the "no spanking" education going on. Do people equate spanking with discipline and don't know how to set limits any other way?
From what I've seen, yes, this is a problem for some parents. I think most are innocent in their intentions but I've also seen people use it as an excuse (in a snarky way) when their kids are running wild, e.g. "Well, I can't do anything about it since you're not 'allowed' to spank anymore!"
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#70 of 200 Old 12-11-2006, 09:52 PM
 
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My kids asked and still ask for my help with many things. When they were little it did come out "Mom can I take a bath?" when they weren't quite ready to handle running a bath alone yet, etc. We all (adults and kids) generally check in with each other before taking off to go somewhere because that's just polite I think. My 15 year old wouldn't come to me with "Can I please go to the mall?" but instead would likely say "I'm thinking about heading to the mall in a bit." Then I'd say whatever I thought about that, and so on.

Some things are not under our control, and we get that. My Dd wants to get her nose pierced as soon as she can. We believe she needs to be 14 here to do so and then she will need my permission. She came to me about it, we chatted on it, and she plans to do it next year. Sure she could go do it herself or get a friend to do it. I am pretty sure she won't though. Is this the kind of thing you are meaning?

I see how that would work with older kids, but I'm thinking more of littles--like the "don't talk to strangers" or "look both ways before you cross the street" kind of stuff. I'm really just trying to understand what "no rules" looks like.
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#71 of 200 Old 12-11-2006, 10:27 PM
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Well, we always talked to strangers...

I think of it more interms of giving kids the tools they need to do well in the world. Rather than telling my child not to talk to strangers, I might discuss what she should do if we were in a store and she couldn't find me, or more likely I'd ask her what she might do. Then we'd talk about why some ideas were good, and what some possible problems might be, and I'd share and info I had on the subject, and maybe we'd role-play something. Rather than following rules, I emphasized good problem-solving skills.

When my child was really little, she was always supervised by a loving caregiver, so rules like looking both ways before crossing the street weren't necessary. I modeled doing that, and talk through it sometimes, and maybe put a hand out to stop her if she stepped into the street before I was sure it was safe... but it was never a rule.

We've never had real issues with rule-following elsewhere, except when rules were unfair... and in those cases we'd either break them or not go there. For example, there was a store where we once lived that had a sign saying all children must hold the hand of an adult at all times, and we blew that one off... and if we'd been challenged, we would have left. Most rules make sense, though.

Oh, actually Rain was involved in some rule-breaking this past weekend, when a parent volunteer were very literally interpreting a rule that said the child must stay in the dressing room when not on stage, as was not letting them get drinks or use the restroom. She was in charge of some of the younger kids... Rain tried to suggest that perhaps the director hadn't been no bathroom drinks, and was brushed off, so when the group Rain supervised came offstage she took them all for drinks and bathroom breaks and then to a different dressing room... and we have no regrets on that. She did talk to the director later, who agreed that the parents had been off-base and said he'd talk to her. Oh, and the mom was overheard talking to another volunteer mom at one point, and the other mom was saying she thought the rule must not mean no bathroom breaks, and the dragonlady mom said, "Oh, you just think that because your kids are in Montessori, where they have bathrooms in the classrooms - public school kids know how to hold it."

So, there was a case when rules and value conflicted, and Rain chose kindness and compassion over the rule...

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#72 of 200 Old 12-11-2006, 10:36 PM
 
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I see how that would work with older kids, but I'm thinking more of littles--like the "don't talk to strangers" or "look both ways before you cross the street" kind of stuff. I'm really just trying to understand what "no rules" looks like.
I think it's a good question. I've thought about this. Here's an example that might possibly help, but may not. lol

When my first was about 17 mos, he whacked the cat (who was already getting older) in that impulsive, excited way little toddlers have when they are not so sure what to do with their energy. I was a bit shocked-- we had never hit him, or even raised our voices at him. I sputtered, "The rule in our family is 'no hitting'". The minute I said that I felt odd, so I then I held his little hands and said kindly, "Gentle hands with our kitty", and held his sweet hands and we gently patted the cat togehter. It was an act he'd seen me do a million times, anyway. Of course, now I know that little ones do sometimes hit, but they simply need a little guidance to help get that under control. Hitting hurts kitties, too.

I then started saying "We are gentle with each other " when those little toddler impulses reared. It was the same message of no htting, but without a 'rule' . I stated what was safe, for him and for the cat.

As 3 more children were added and time rolled on, I started saying "We need to keep each other safe. Gentle hands on each other". Maybe othes might find issue with those words, but they worked well for us, and everyone has grown up feeling safe from physical harm. Dh and I also encourage expressing true feelings and we model that. It's not about causing guilt, as in "You make me feel blah blah blah we you blah blah blah" but rather, "When blah blah blah happens, I feel...." And then we listen.

Further, I have no problem telling my oldest "Please call me and tell me where you are at 9 so I don't wonder where you might be. And please call us by 10 to say what time you are coming home. We can't fall asleep until we know you are safe". I've told my kids that it's hard for me to sleep if my ducklings are scattered in the late hours.

Now, I *know* I will have to work on this worry when my oldest is off to college next year. Oy. lol However, in the meantime, I feel calmer knowing that while it's already 11, he is at a local resturant, is planning on being home by 12. (That's the teen driving curfew here, at any rate). It's harder to not worry about older kids than I thought it would be. My mind races and worries and that's my problem. Yet, my 17 yr old knows that if he checks in, I can stop fretting.

I will admit, however, that we have totally discouraged outings that are not program related, m-thurs for our teen. Is it a rule? I never recall stating it that way, but if you asked my oldest he might say it's a rule.

I am going to have to ask. Did he agree to it, or has it been a given all these years? I'll let you all know. lol
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#73 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 12:20 AM
 
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I then started saying "We are gentle with each other " when those little toddler impulses reared. It was the same message of no hitting, but without a 'rule'.
I'm not picking on YOU in particular, but this appears to be a matter of semantics to me. The "rule" is that "we are gentle with each other." Whether you say it's a rule is irrelevant.

I presented the toddler-hitting-kitty scenario to my 14yo to see what he thought. I didn't tell him what my views are beforehand. He said the only difference is the phrasing.

Whenever you speak for your child, as in "we" do such-and-such, you are creating a standard for them to live by. A rule, if you will. Saying it's not a rule is just sugarcoating, IMO.
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#74 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 01:11 AM
 
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I didn't notice people like this 7 or 8 years ago...
Oh, well maybe that explains it - I've been reading through all this with great bewilderment, because I've come across none of this. I've seen an awful lot of homeschooled kids of all ages, and I've always known them to be exceptionally nice. It always seemed to me as just a result of growing up in an environment of mutual respect. I wonder if some of this has to do with a subgroup within a certain generation - I'd be curious what climate of parenting was in vogue when the parents of the rude or mean children you're describing were growing up. Let's say a parent had a child at age 24 and the child is now 5 - that would make the parent 29. 2006 - 29 would put her growing up in the late 70s, early 80s. Well, actually, that got me nowhere - because I really have no idea what was going on in the way of parenting during that time ! Oh, well... - Lillian
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#75 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 01:36 AM
 
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This is a very interesting thread.

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#76 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 01:44 AM
 
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29 would put her growing up in the late 70s, early 80s. Well, actually, that got me nowhere - because I really have no idea what was going on in the way of parenting during that time ! Oh, well... - Lillian
Disco. I think you can blame it all on disco.
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#77 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 02:01 AM
 
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Disco. I think you can blame it all on disco.
Them's fightin' words, pastamama! :

Although, I must say it's nice to see you in this neck o' the woods again. Lillian
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#78 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 02:07 AM
 
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Disco. I think you can blame it all on disco.
No, I think it's probably the Brady Bunch reruns. Who could live up to the Bradys? NO ONE, I say!
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#79 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 02:20 AM
 
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No, I think it's probably the Brady Bunch reruns. Who could live up to the Bradys? NO ONE, I say!
Wimps, I say. If my generation could manage with "the merry Mouseketeers," f'r Pete's sake, the Brady reruns generation should have been able to cope. - Lillian
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#80 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 03:07 AM
 
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My son is incredibly considerate of his friends, one of the most selfless young person I have ever met.

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#81 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 03:19 AM
 
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I joined an RU group online 5 years ago. There was some 'unparenting' happening then too~and man, it worked online as in real life~there was a very aggressive argumentative aspect to those particular posts~it was tiresome to wade through it!

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#82 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 03:48 AM
 
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No, I think it's probably the Brady Bunch reruns. Who could live up to the Bradys? NO ONE, I say!
Ahem. I believe you are forgetting "Welcome Back, Kotter." Sure to damage the most impressionable minds.

And actually, I really like disco...and classic country...along withour indie rock. We have some very unusual musical tastes in this family. Yet, so far, no signs of extreme rudeness.
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#83 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 03:53 AM
 
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Although, I must say it's nice to see you in this neck o' the woods again. Lillian
Um, in my heart I'm an unschooler... an unschooler in schooled clothing. I'm an unschooler poser.

I'm radicalizing from the inside, baby! Well, until she's fed up with it, and then we'll be real unschoolers.

However, my daughter has very nice manners. It must be because she goes to public school where they're forced to learn how to have good manners, because otherwise she'd never have them naturally. I mean, it only goes to figure that if unschoolers have bad manners from lack of external discipline, the public schooled kids have the best ones!

























HAHAHAHAHAHA.
not. I think it has much more to do with family culture and mutual respect than an educational style.
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#84 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 03:59 AM
 
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Interesting thread.... I'm no a RU, just a newer hs.

The most annoying kid my ds hangs out with goes to public school.

I dread when he comes over. Demands food, screams, takes toys away from my son, etc, ugh. My boyfriend takes over usually and explains to him that we don't act that way at our house, and this child does respond positively to my boyfriend.

I think children and parents behaving like this happens everywhere, and I'm just at the point that I stay away from them.

Honestly, I'm afraid to correct other children because I'm afraid I'll upset the other parent. So, when my son asks why does X get to act that way, I just say it's up to his Mommy and Daddy to teach him and that if he's unhappy with his friend, it's his choice not to hang out with him.

I was thinking the other day, Gosh, sometimes I don't understand why my ds does some things in public- not bad things, just maybe considered weird by others in public (like, wanting to talk about where babies come from with techinical terms, or wanting to see every room in someone's house and asking to do it), and I realized that's because I don't find the behavior bad, but I'm embarrassed that someone else might. My biggest concern has been that he respect other people and their property, and he does that. But, I got a little freaked out, and thought, maybe we should do things a little differently at home. (You know when you have these little dips in your faith? I was there!)

So we go on vacation with my sister, and her best friend's family, which includes the most adorable 3 year old boy. He's great! And my son loves him, goes to hug him and they are playing and laughing and my son does a "raspberry"- and this cute little boy shakes his finger and says:

"Rule #3: No raspberries!" What?? My sister's friend goes on to explain that they have written rules (like 10 of them) on the fridge outlining what he's (remember, age 3) not aloud to do- no yelling, etc. This is true- I remember seeing them when I visited a couple of months ago! It struck me as a little much, like micromanaging, but to know that this kid has the list memorized? Wow.

So I decided I was probably doing fine with my son.

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#85 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 06:10 AM
 
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I see how that would work with older kids, but I'm thinking more of littles--like the "don't talk to strangers" or "look both ways before you cross the street" kind of stuff. I'm really just trying to understand what "no rules" looks like.

I should start most of my posts with "What Dar said...."

It's true. Like she mentioned, we just modeled and discussed. When my kids were wee ones they always had someonel looking out for them who could look for cars, uattended and tempting pointy things, etc. None of that was really an issue for us. And my son was definitely what you'd call "spirited" when he was younger. We just discussed. If there were "rules" at all we came up with them as a family.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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#86 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 08:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BetsyNY View Post
I see how that would work with older kids, but I'm thinking more of littles--like the "don't talk to strangers" or "look both ways before you cross the street" kind of stuff. I'm really just trying to understand what "no rules" looks like.
I don't know that I would be considered a RU and I really don't care as we are not striving for a label. But I do know that we are pretty unschooly so here's the way I see it:

Those things aren't really rules. Well the stranger one could be a rule if you take it there, but we don't tell our DS to never talk to strangers. We have warned him that there are bad people out there who sometimes look nice and not to ever go with anyone, not because "we said so" but because it's dangerous. We told him a nice stranger would never ask you to go with them, etc. We have told him the best way to react if we get seperated in a store. Those aren't rules, it's a matter of discussing dangers and finding good ways to be safe.

Looking both ways before crossing a street is not a rule either, it's how we cross a street. I don't look both ways when I cross because I'm following a rule and I don't want to get in trouble! FTR, little kids shouldn't be crossing the street by themselves anyway. They're not developmentally ready for that. That's not a rule a parent is imposing, it's a fact. Same with drinking wine. He knows it's harmful for kids to drink that. To say "Well, you've got a rule about that then" seems silly to me.

When we get out of the car he needs to wait for me because parking lots are dangerous. It's not a rule, it's being safe. He knows that cars backing out won't see him.

He's been informed that it's important to say thank you, please, hello and goodbye to shopkeepers, waiters, etc. He's not punished if he doesn't do it, but he is reminded nicely.

Standards are not necessarily rules. To be gentle with eachother is a value, a way of life. I think it's unhelpful for people to say that it's sugarcoating a rule (this last part is a response to a different post, not Betsy's).

Another example is toothbrushing. Not accepting their teeth to rot is not necessarily imposing rules. There are ways to get a child to brush his teeth without threatening punishment or holding them down and brushing their teeth (apparently there are people out there that actually do this).

I think there are definitely some APers and RUers out there who have some unfortunate misconceptions of what it means to AP or RU. I am far from being a perfect parent, APer or unschooler! But when I read about RUers telling other people they are wrong because, for example, they have family dinners (a true RUer would just give finger foods at the computer it seems) or see posts from people who don't want to let their little ones CIO but then physically hold them down until they fall asleep I feel : I think sometimes it becomes all about not having anything resembling a rule or not doing CIO and common sense seems to go out the window.
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#87 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 08:48 AM
 
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I'm reading a book right now called "Living joyfully with Children" and it has a chapter dedicated to "rules." They say that using "Principals" are much better. Rules are usually only good for the rulemaker, but principals are based on common sense and are good for everyone.

What NeedleInTheHay described are principals, not rules. They're not arbitrary, they're basic things that make life go easier.

I'm liking this book, but I hesitate to recommend it because it's kind of corny. I'm having a rough time enjoying my children right now, so I'm reading the corny book for inspiration.

I'm also guilty of "unparenting" but completely by accident. Sometimes, I lack the tools necessary to discipline correctly in certain circumstances, so I must back off or I may spank. When this happens, I go in search of the tools that I need.

Also, I may allow more to happen socially with my children than other parents are comfortable with. If the children are argueing, it's not my job to work out thier problems. I'll sit and watch. Then, sometimes, I'll see another adult come in to solve the problem and it really irks me. It's as if they can't let the kids work it out and they think that I'm not doing my job by letting them figure it out. Not only that, but now my child is being ganged up on by the child's caretaker as well as the child. Then, I come over to assure egality. I'd never allow hitting, but sharing problems, negotiating and arguing are ok. I do not want my children to be rude, but I want them to learn and practicing asserting themselves and standing up for themselves.

I also do not make my children share. If they have company, it's thier job to decide if they want to share thier toys. If they have something very special, I may tell them that "so and so" may want to share it and that they'll have to decide whether to share it before company arrives. If they chose not to, then they must put it away. This is all part of learning to negotiate in real life. I have something you want to play with and vise versa...lets work something out.

Very interesting thread!
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#88 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 09:43 AM
 
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I'd agree that it's a matter of semantics. Whether some folks choose to call their mutually-agreed-upon guidelines for considerate behavior "rules" or "principles" or "discussions" seems irrelevant. For e.g., we've decided that it makes sense to take off muddy shoes at the door to save on work for everyone; but when our kids were young, we simply took off shoes most of the time because they would forget to be discriminating (i.e., forget to check for mud). When we put the "guidelines" into words--what some might call "rules"--it became easier for our young children to remember. But most importantly, if we are at someone's home and they have some guidelines/rules that we don't follow at our home, we think that the most considerate thing to do as guests is to respect their guidelines/rules (unless, in some whacky occasion that I have never encountered. the rule goes against some morals of ours). And we try to be mindful of acting with extra consideration in someone else's home.


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Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
I'm not picking on YOU in particular, but this appears to be a matter of semantics to me. The "rule" is that "we are gentle with each other." Whether you say it's a rule is irrelevant.

I presented the toddler-hitting-kitty scenario to my 14yo to see what he thought. I didn't tell him what my views are beforehand. He said the only difference is the phrasing.

Whenever you speak for your child, as in "we" do such-and-such, you are creating a standard for them to live by. A rule, if you will. Saying it's not a rule is just sugarcoating, IMO.
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#89 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 10:33 AM
 
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I'm not picking on YOU in particular, but this appears to be a matter of semantics to me. The "rule" is that "we are gentle with each other." Whether you say it's a rule is irrelevant.

I presented the toddler-hitting-kitty scenario to my 14yo to see what he thought. I didn't tell him what my views are beforehand. He said the only difference is the phrasing.

Whenever you speak for your child, as in "we" do such-and-such, you are creating a standard for them to live by. A rule, if you will. Saying it's not a rule is just sugarcoating, IMO.
I wouldn't argue that I always hoped they would not harm our animals or each other. I've tried, in word and deed, to teach basic resepct in a kind way, rather than in a threatening way. I always think of rules as things that can be broken and we never had to to worry about breaking something that didn't exist. My children are extremely gentle and respectful people-- with animals and each other, and have gotten there without threat of punishment.

I may be thinking deeper than a 14 yr old when I think of reminders (and modeling of gentle touching) such as "Be gentle with each other. Be gentle with the kitty' as being more about values than fixed rules. . For me, it's been about helping toddler impulses in a way that is void of worry about reprimends or shame.

And I've always been about sugarcoating in that I've always tried to make transitions and other things pleasant for a child who finds such things upsetting. If they need to get into a carseat, for instance, I would offer a little treat for the car. So I am not against trying to make the unpleasant not unpleasant for a child. Same reason we don't have a 'You can't go out without your coat'. the child will either feel cold and want the coat, or I will stuff the coat in our backpack until the child does want it, or I will get the car started before he has to get in. No biggie and no meltdown.

I have 4 children who are quite cooperative and adventuresome and easy to take anywhere. They learned eary that it's possible that everyone can have their needs met in a respectful way. They know our family is more about people and their needs, rather than arbitrary rules of behavior.
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#90 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 10:52 AM
 
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Oh, I have thoughts on sharing toys, too.

We always put up special things, children to not have to share their treasures.

However, if a child can't share any toys at all, it's best to not have playgroups at your house. Not letting visiting friends pay with the toys is one of those mean/edgy kid things that I can't deal with. It's cruel to expect other children visit your house and tell those children they can't play with so and so's toys or she'll get upset. Don't put your kid in that situation, and don't set other kids up for sadness and total dissapointment.
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