Radical unschoolers and rude kids - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 07:20 PM
 
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I have never seen consensus regarding what constitutes coercion.

I think it's partly because individual experiences tend to shape our perception of what we think is "true".

In my experience it is possible to use distraction as a form of coercion. Another person might not see it that way. That's okay.

I think tricks are manipulation, or coersion. Problem solving and creating happiness isn't. If the child starts to cry even when you try to present something in the carseat, fi, but you tricked him to trap him, and he can't get out but is straining and crying to, and you drive off anyway, that's coersion. Everyone happy all around isn't.
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#122 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 10:56 PM
 
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Clarifying~I'm just agreeing with whomever said these are subjective beliefs. Ds says he wants to ride in the car without a seatbelt. I come up with all kinds of incentives, safety information to give him (he is safer), and brainstorming sessions to help make the seatbelt agreeable. He winds up agreeing to ride with a seatbelt. There is no protest from him at that point. But there is a bottomline...that was not what he actually wanted. He never really got what he wanted~to ride in the front seat. That did not happen.

I can say "Well, I am only giving him more information so that he can make a fully informed decision", and I can choose to see that as different than coercion. But I don't think it's different. What is an informed decision? What information is given? It's subjective. It reflects a value system~mine~what I want and what I believe.

I can say "But ds was free to not ride in the car~to stay home, to call the manufacturer and have the airbags disabled". But my experience is that ds is much less likely to choose this path than, say, my neighbors or my great aunt Louise. There seems to be a space in ds' reality that fits hand in hand with my existence~and whatever form my information takes, will shape what ds considers his own beliefs and desires~and my information winds up being a framework for reality. It isn't something external he picks up and puts down like a jacket. My concerns, what I choose to present as important or useful information, are soaked up into his own viewpoint like a sponge~and this is something I think children are wired to do.

I can say "But there is no threat to him if he ignores my information, so it's not really coercive". External threats pale in comparison to the deepest of all childhood fears~the no-parent fear. You can't stop this or prevent it. It is a universal, primal fear. Children are born wired to form, build, and maintain attachments to primary caregivers. Everything about a baby is meant to get a caregiver's attention and attachment, and in turn, the baby forms a deep and specific attachment right back. Children are very fragile, to varying degree's, when they feel at odds with their caregiver. It is not the same as having a difference of opinion with a college classmate. Rejecting what a parent thinks bumps up against a primal inclination to do exactly the opposite~to mimic, to copy, to absorb, to internalize everything about a primary caregiver.

In hindsight I think the significance of avoiding external punishments had nothing to do with avoiding coercion or reducing the scope of my influence as a parent. Coercion is inevitable, built into the fabric of our interactions. It is there and nothing I can do will change this. The significant result of not using punishment has been what I *did* do instead. I did engage ds in cooperative thinking. I did encourage words, listening, empathy, and verbal communication~so that the result is ds learned this way of communicating, he absorbed these ways of living, and has the ability now to cooperate, use words, and get along easily with others. In hindsight this is so inevitable and obvious to me, but I don't think I got it for a long time. I thought parenting was about avoiding certain mistakes. Really, it's much more than that.

My disclaimer~these are just my thoughts, and not a disagreement with anything said here. I wanted to add it while I had time. This is such a great discussion!

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#123 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 11:31 PM
 
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I haven't been around much lately because I've been trying to cut back on my computer time, but tonight I decided to indulge. Thanks to all of you participating in this thread for making it so worth my time tonight! You've intrigued and inspired me. I always learn so much from MDC moms!

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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#124 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 11:42 PM
 
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Heartmama wrote--" I can say "Well, I am only giving him more information so that he can make a fully informed decision", and I can choose to see that as different than coercion. But I don't think it's different. What is an informed decision? What information is given? It's subjective. It reflects a value system~mine~what I want and what I believe."

Are you saying that you feel giving him information about children and statistical car safety is manipulating him to want to ride more safely in the car? I ask beause I have heard some people say theyve felt manipulated by lowered mortailty stats into keeping their children in booster seats, whereas in the old days, kids have 'been fine' in regular lap belts.

Does knowing that children in booster seats are safer make you feel manipulated into using one? Do you feel you've tricked your kid into sitting in the back by telling him kids are statistically safer when they sit in the back?
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#125 of 200 Old 12-12-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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Man, y'all are a lot more patient than me! I'm more like, "Get in the carseat now! We're in a hurry!"
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#126 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 12:03 AM
 
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UUMom~what I'm trying to say in that post, is that my best attempt at being an impartial provider of information will not lift me out of the the context of our relationship. I am not an impartial provider of information in the eyes of ds. No matter what I say, no matter how I say it, the words of a parent are often not taken to an impartial place in a child's heart.

For me, it's been illuminating to accept this dynamic rather than redouble my efforts to diminish the evidence of it. I'm not sure this looks very different than what you are saying. But my focus isn't on being impartial or never coercing. Instead I want to live in a way that exemplifies the values I find inspiring~communication, listening to each other, empathy, cooperation, trust etc. If I just focus on that, the rest falls into place without a lot of second guessing and self doubt (which is what happens if my focus is on 'not' doing something or 'not' being a certain way).

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#127 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 12:39 AM
 
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I think we all struggle at times. It's good to accept that.

You write this: "But my focus isn't on being impartial or never coercing. Instead I want to live in a way that exemplifies the values I find inspiring~communication, listening to each other, empathy, cooperation, trust etc. If I just focus on that, the rest falls into place without a lot of second guessing and self doubt (which is what happens if my focus is on 'not' doing something or 'not' being a certain way)."

It seems to me that when you offer honest information you are communitcating in a cooperative and trusting way. (sharing stats on child car safety, fi, is critical. You'd be doing your child a disservice, imo, if you didn't share information on how he can help keep himself safer. He's old enough to process the information, after all).

You *are* honoring your values and principles by sharing ipportant information with children, even it means they actually listen to what you're saying. You aren't coersing your child by sharing reality. Sometimes we want to spare our children from harsh realities/stats, but that's not helpful to older children as they venture out into the world as it is.

I think being honest as you are with your older child isn't manipulation or coercion. Do you see what i am saying/asking?
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#128 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 02:03 AM
 
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Clarifying~I'm just agreeing with whomever said these are subjective beliefs. Ds says he wants to ride in the car without a seatbelt. I come up with all kinds of incentives, safety information to give him (he is safer), and brainstorming sessions to help make the seatbelt agreeable. He winds up agreeing to ride with a seatbelt. There is no protest from him at that point. But there is a bottomline...that was not what he actually wanted. He never really got what he wanted~to ride in the front seat. That did not happen.

I can say "Well, I am only giving him more information so that he can make a fully informed decision", and I can choose to see that as different than coercion. But I don't think it's different. What is an informed decision? What information is given? It's subjective. It reflects a value system~mine~what I want and what I believe.

I can say "But ds was free to not ride in the car~to stay home, to call the manufacturer and have the airbags disabled". But my experience is that ds is much less likely to choose this path than, say, my neighbors or my great aunt Louise. There seems to be a space in ds' reality that fits hand in hand with my existence~and whatever form my information takes, will shape what ds considers his own beliefs and desires~and my information winds up being a framework for reality. It isn't something external he picks up and puts down like a jacket. My concerns, what I choose to present as important or useful information, are soaked up into his own viewpoint like a sponge~and this is something I think children are wired to do.

I can say "But there is no threat to him if he ignores my information, so it's not really coercive". External threats pale in comparison to the deepest of all childhood fears~the no-parent fear. You can't stop this or prevent it. It is a universal, primal fear. Children are born wired to form, build, and maintain attachments to primary caregivers. Everything about a baby is meant to get a caregiver's attention and attachment, and in turn, the baby forms a deep and specific attachment right back. Children are very fragile, to varying degree's, when they feel at odds with their caregiver. It is not the same as having a difference of opinion with a college classmate. Rejecting what a parent thinks bumps up against a primal inclination to do exactly the opposite~to mimic, to copy, to absorb, to internalize everything about a primary caregiver.

In hindsight I think the significance of avoiding external punishments had nothing to do with avoiding coercion or reducing the scope of my influence as a parent. Coercion is inevitable, built into the fabric of our interactions. It is there and nothing I can do will change this. The significant result of not using punishment has been what I *did* do instead. I did engage ds in cooperative thinking. I did encourage words, listening, empathy, and verbal communication~so that the result is ds learned this way of communicating, he absorbed these ways of living, and has the ability now to cooperate, use words, and get along easily with others. In hindsight this is so inevitable and obvious to me, but I don't think I got it for a long time. I thought parenting was about avoiding certain mistakes. Really, it's much more than that.
Absolutely brilliantly said!
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#129 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 02:09 AM
 
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Man, y'all are a lot more patient than me! I'm more like, "Get in the carseat now! We're in a hurry!"
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#130 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 02:30 AM
 
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Wow! I just wanted to pop back in to say Great Thread!
I now have to go back and read the 5 pages that have been added since I posted here on Monday!

Take Care,
Erika :

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail..."
"I am learning all the time, the tombstone will be my diploma"- Eartha Kitt
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#131 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 02:40 AM
 
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So negotiation and problem-solving are coercion?
I think they can be. Negotiation sometimes means that neither party really gets what they want. It's often settling for less than what you want in order to avoid conflict.

Problem-solving is different. If the problem is that your child doesn't want to ride in the carseat because the fabric itches the backs of her thighs, then a solution might be for the child to wear pants or sit on a towel. Of course that isn't coercion.

If the problem is that the child hates to be restrained....well, there's really no way to solve that other than not riding in the car. Since that isn't practical for most families, some sort of coercion probably comes into effect in order to keep the child safe and the parents sane. Two-year-olds don't really care about statistics on child restraints.

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I'm not sure I agree with the term "your way"... I think it's more about trying to negotiate a solution that works for me, and for the other person too if I care about that person. I don't generally had a "way", but instead certain elements that are important to me. So, my child's safety would be important to me, and I'd want her to be transported safely.
And that is "your way." It's important to you. If you were a parent who couldn't care less about buckling up, then that would be "your way."

It seems to me that a lot of people like to soften words, ideas, or phrases to make them more PC or palatable. I don't do that. I apologize if my ideas sound overly blunt or direct.

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I don't think punishment is necessarily related to rules, either... and I do think it's easier to create rules, yes. There's less discussion, problem-solving, thinking... but in the long run, I'm not sure that's a good thing. I can't create rules to cover any situation my teen may run up against, and I feel more comfortable knowing that she doesn't rely on rules to decide what to do, but instead works from core values and problem-solving...
I think that most intelligent kids and teens create their own set of rules, ethics, or codes from whatever core values and problem-solving skills they've learned.
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#132 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 04:11 AM
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I think they can be. Negotiation sometimes means that neither party really gets what they want. It's often settling for less than what you want in order to avoid conflict.
I consider successful negotiation to mean that everyone gets what he wants. A "mutually agreeable solution", in TCS parlance. No one settles.

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Problem-solving is different. If the problem is that your child doesn't want to ride in the carseat because the fabric itches the backs of her thighs, then a solution might be for the child to wear pants or sit on a towel. Of course that isn't coercion.
So what differentiates this from negotiation? Two people want different things, and they discuss and brainstorm until they find an idea that both are completely happy with. I don't see how giving the child a towel to sit on is different from giving him a snack to it. I think this *can* be coercive, but it certainly doesn't need to be.

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If the problem is that the child hates to be restrained....well, there's really no way to solve that other than not riding in the car. Since that isn't practical for most families, some sort of coercion probably comes into effect in order to keep the child safe and the parents sane. Two-year-olds don't really care about statistics on child restraints.
See, the black and white thinking is something that radical unschoolers endeavor to free themselves of. One could do some expperiments to help a child understand the importance of restraints... or maybe a different carseat would be more to the child's liking, one that felt less restrictive. I'm sure there are other ideas.

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And that is "your way." It's important to you. If you were a parent who couldn't care less about buckling up, then that would be "your way."
I think "your way" implies a specific course of action, rather than a value, which is what I'm talking about. I value safety, but I'm flexible about how that happens. If walking or taking the bus or leaving Rain with the neighbor are preferable to her than coming with me in a carseat, that's fine.

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It seems to me that a lot of people like to soften words, ideas, or phrases to make them more PC or palatable. I don't do that. I apologize if my ideas sound overly blunt or direct.
I don't think it's a matter of being "PC" (although I have issues with that term) or blunt, but I think there are nuances to the issue that you're not seeing. I do have my opinions about what is important, but I don't require than Rain share them. Maybe that's what it comes down to.

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I think that most intelligent kids and teens create their own set of rules, ethics, or codes from whatever core values and problem-solving skills they've learned.
I see a lot of kids and teens who are stuck at the rule-following stage, and can't seem to make good decsions when there isn't a rule.

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#133 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Man, y'all are a lot more patient than me! I'm more like, "Get in the carseat now! We're in a hurry!"
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#134 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 08:10 AM
 
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2tadpoles, I just meant that it wasn't "helpful" to the interesting exchange of ideas that this thread was getting to be. JMO but maybe I should have left that out of my other post. Obviously other people didn't mind discussing sugarcoating with you!
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#135 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 11:51 AM
 
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I consider successful negotiation to mean that everyone gets what he wants. A "mutually agreeable solution", in TCS parlance. No one settles.
Of course that would be successful negotiation.

I said that *sometimes* people have to settle for less. If there is one cookie and two people want it, they obviously aren't each going to be able to have the whole cookie at that given time. Just because both people agree to have half the cookie, or they agree that A can have the whole cookie today and B can have the whole cookie next time, doesn't mean they each really got what they wanted.

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So what differentiates this from negotiation? Two people want different things, and they discuss and brainstorm until they find an idea that both are completely happy with. I don't see how giving the child a towel to sit on is different from giving him a snack to it. I think this *can* be coercive, but it certainly doesn't need to be.
If you think about which instances could be defined as coercive, then that will explain how it differs from negotiation.

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See, the black and white thinking is something that radical unschoolers endeavor to free themselves of.
I don't think this is true at all. I think that RU's just have black-and-white thinking on a different plane.

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If walking or taking the bus or leaving Rain with the neighbor are preferable to her than coming with me in a carseat, that's fine.
That's great that those options are available to you.

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I do have my opinions about what is important, but I don't require than Rain share them. Maybe that's what it comes down to.
So if she isn't required to share them, why would she have to stay with a neighbor or take a bus? Why couldn't she just ride in the car with you, unbuckled?

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I see a lot of kids and teens who are stuck at the rule-following stage, and can't seem to make good decsions when there isn't a rule.
I don't think I've ever known any children or teens like this. I've known children who choose to disregard the rules, but all the kids I've known have been thinkers.
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#136 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 01:40 PM
 
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I don't think I've ever known any children or teens like this. I've known children who choose to disregard the rules, but all the kids I've known have been thinkers.
I know adults like this! My husband is one of them. He has been retraining himself for the last 10 years and still has a very hard time making a good decision on his own because as a child/teen they were all made for him. There were so many rules, and his parents were so controlling. It is so sad to see a grown man not able to even pick out a restraunt, or whatever, let alone make bigger life choices.

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#137 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 02:49 PM
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I said that *sometimes* people have to settle for less. If there is one cookie and two people want it, they obviously aren't each going to be able to have the whole cookie at that given time. Just because both people agree to have half the cookie, or they agree that A can have the whole cookie today and B can have the whole cookie next time, doesn't mean they each really got what they wanted.
We're delving deeply into TCS-think here, but for me it really is a part of a radical unschooling lifestyle...

The idea that someone wants one thing and only that thing rarely comes up in families who live this way. Those are sometimes called "entrenched theories", and IME people raised without coercion just don't generally think that way. "What you really want" isn't a static thing... it can change as you get more information. That's different than settling, because when you settle, one or both people would have preferred their original option. What we aim for is a mutually agreeable solution, which means that both people end up getting something they want as much or more than what they oroiginally wanted.

In the cookie example, maybe someone would remember that there was ice cream in the freezer and prefer that, or frozen egg rolls, or whatever. Maybe both people would decide that fresh cookies would be even yummier, and bake some together. Again, the black and white "I only want this cookie" thing just doesn't happen much with children raised this way.

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If you think about which instances could be defined as coercive, then that will explain how it differs from negotiation.
I see how both proble-solving and negotiation could be done coercively, so no, that really doesn't explain it to me...
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I don't think this is true at all. I think that RU's just have black-and-white thinking on a different plane.
I guess I don't see it. I do believe that there are always mutually agreeable solutions, even if we don't see them at the time, so I guess I'm black and white on that... but it has worked well for me to think that way. I suppose if I kept running up against situations with no such solutions, I would change my mind, but I don't...

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That's great that those options are available to you.
Well, I have a teenager now, so they're not really applicable to me personally... but the idea is that there are always other solutions, if we think outside the box.
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So if she isn't required to share them, why would she have to stay with a neighbor or take a bus? Why couldn't she just ride in the car with you, unbuckled?
Because I'm not required to share her idea that riding unrestrained is okay, either. It works both ways. Actually, if it came up I might look at that as an option, especially in certain circumstances. For example, we lived on a farm for years, and my then-9 year old would drive my car around while I sat next to her. I would feel comfortable with an unrestrained child in the car under those circumstances, too...

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#138 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 04:50 PM
 
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Lots of good stuff in this thread!

On the subject of rudeness/rules: generally, we live by principles, or values, as others have mentioned. I say "generally" because I'm human so I make mistakes and fall into authoritarian parenting in my not-so finer moments...Anyway, I have been complimented twice this week already on my dd's manners and her comfort with interacting with adults and children of diff. ages. (I said, both times, "well, compliment HER, not ME" and then laugh but that's a diff. thread...)

Neither one of these situations were in a homeschooling/unschooling hangout scenario. Just normal life.
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#139 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 06:00 PM
 
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Does anyone else have the experience of having their kids be better at generating options until we find one we can both live with than you are? Because my 6 year old just rocks at it.

I'll be in this, well, there's no way out but me just taking over place, and she'll come up with this totally reasonable answer that was right in front of us if I wasn't panic-ing that there is no way to solve it amicably?

It's the strangest feeling. I'm getting all stressed out and she says, well, we could [solution A] or [solution B]. Would either of those work.

And I am left saying, um, yeah, I guess either A or B would work.
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#140 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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Yes, chfriend, my daughter is brilliant at finding solutions. She's just very flexible. I get sitff and stuck sometimes and so does my son.

My daughter routinely figures out what we all should do when there is a conflict. She rocks!

Crunchy check list:  2 homebirths (one accidental UC!), co-slept, no CIO, cloth diapers, home/un school, raw milk drinker (!) I am a walking cliche!! I even blog and knit...
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#141 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 06:24 PM
 
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I'm so glad I'm not the only one. Seriously, I'll be standing there sputtering and she'll just calmly show me the way.
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#142 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 06:32 PM
 
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I'm so glad I'm not the only one. Seriously, I'll be standing there sputtering and she'll just calmly show me the way.
I wish my daughter were that way. Her solutions are inevitably Ramona-centered and carefully constructed to give her the best deal. For example, in the cookie situation, her solution would be along the lines of, "I'll eat the cookie today AND eat the cookie tomorrow because I like cookies more than you do" or "I'll eat all the cookies because I am a kid and you should let me have my way!"

It's not that we don't model parity in decision making. I just think kids have different personalities, and the fact that she is only 4 might play into it too.

My youngest doesn't yet seem to understand negotiation and my oldest is so used to being told what to do at all times in the orphanage that she is unable/unwilling to make decisions for herself.

Namaste!
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#143 of 200 Old 12-13-2006, 10:41 PM
 
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dharmamama that was my dd to a tee when she was 4! And she was the poster child for the "explosive child." (Turns out she's sensitive to wheat.)

At that time, I'd have just given her the cookie because she was little ...now she does the same thing for her 2 year old sister.
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#144 of 200 Old 12-14-2006, 12:30 AM
 
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At that time, I'd have just given her the cookie because she was little
Oh, absolutely. And she is right that she likes cookies more than I do. I just always chuckle when I hear people say that if you give kids a chance to come up with a fair solution, they will, because at least with my kid, I know better.

But then again, I am not complaining, because my daughter is smart, highly verbal, and not afraid to go for what she wants.

Namaste!
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#145 of 200 Old 12-14-2006, 01:19 AM
 
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I don't really know any radical unschoolers irl, but I do see quite a bit of "unparenting" by school/daycare-using parents whose justification is "they learn that at school." Because they aren't around their kids all day, they can surrender responsibility for their kids' discipline and guidance (of course there are many good parents who use school, too). Although I don't doubt there are unparenting unschoolers as well.

I don't particularly agree with the way radically unschooling is often interpreted, even though we are at least borderline radical unschoolers, with no curriculum, no punishments, only one rule (no hurting someone else), and as little coercion as possible. But I think much of what is advocated in the name of non-coercion is dishonest, so I'm uncomfortable with it. I'm sure, however, that it works very well for some families.
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#146 of 200 Old 12-14-2006, 10:42 AM
 
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Some insiders say that expensive private schools can be even worse than public when it comes to students' behavior. Some busy two-income parents think that, since they are paying so much for tuition, the school should be doing the parenting (making up for the stuff that should be happening after school) as well.


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I don't really know any radical unschoolers irl, but I do see quite a bit of "unparenting" by school/daycare-using parents whose justification is "they learn that at school." Because they aren't around their kids all day, they can surrender responsibility for their kids' discipline and guidance (of course there are many good parents who use school, too). Although I don't doubt there are unparenting unschoolers as well.

I don't particularly agree with the way radically unschooling is often interpreted, even though we are at least borderline radical unschoolers, with no curriculum, no punishments, only one rule (no hurting someone else), and as little coercion as possible. But I think much of what is advocated in the name of non-coercion is dishonest, so I'm uncomfortable with it. I'm sure, however, that it works very well for some families.
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#147 of 200 Old 12-14-2006, 12:34 PM
 
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Again, the black and white "I only want this cookie" thing just doesn't happen much with children raised this way.
agreed

We are neither radical unschoolers nor totally into TCS, but have gone down those paths quite far (further than any other families we know IRL) and the iconic "there is only 1 thing in the universe that we want so someone isn't going to get want they want" thing doesn't come up. Both my kids believe we live in an abundant universe and that there are always multiple solutions. Because we are always mellow with them, they have developed the ability to be mellow with each other, with us, and with their friends.

However, my older DD is 10 and my younger DD is nearly 9. We first became interested in TCS when they were 3 and 4. Honestly, it didn't work then. These principles were too difficult with closely spaced children who were quite young. Sometimes I just broke the cookie in half and told them to share.

I think there is tremendous value in exploring these ideas and moving our families toward them. One of the goals of parenting (no matter how you label your "style") is to raise kids who eventually can make good decisions on their own. None the less, it isn't a black and white issue for me. I think that as we trust our kids will little decisions and help them brain storm for creative solutions, they become better at those skills. As they develop those skills -- and mature -- they are able to make bigger and bigger decisions and creativly brain storm. It's an upward spiral.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#148 of 200 Old 01-03-2007, 09:42 PM
 
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OK, I'm way late for this discussion, but I'm so glad the OP brought this up! I've felt this way about the rude behavior of unschooled kids too, but was afraid to mention it on this message board because there are so many unschoolers here. : You guys did a great job of being civil!

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Learning without a curriculum doesn't have anything to do with disregarding common courtesy. I seriously wish that people would stop mixing the two philosophies.
I have a friend who lets her kids get away with everything. They are 8, 6, and 2. She's a loving and nurturing mom, but she doesn't set limits. Her oldest daughter is...a brat. There's no other way to put it. She's defiant and rude and still bites other kids sometimes! But my friend says, 'I don't want to break her spirit!" She calls my son names like loser and dork, and then her mom defends it by saying she doesn't really know what the words mean. : WHATEVER!

I belong to two homeschooling groups. One is Christian and doesn't have many unschooling families. The other is an "inclusive" group that is mostly made up of unschooling families. I definitely notice a difference in the attitudes and behaviors of the kids. The lack of social skills and manners in the inclusive group kids is very obvious. I thought it was unschooling in general that led to this, but this thread has helped me see that it's more about unparenting than unschooling.

Very interesting thread!
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#149 of 200 Old 01-03-2007, 10:35 PM
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It amazes me that so many of you have such big Unschooling communities! We are the only Unschoolers in our area and we do not spend any time with any other Unschooling families except for the rare visit from Unschoolers we meet at conferences.

Any Unschoolers that I have met at Unschooling Conferences have been incredibly mature, respectful people and an absolute joy to be around!

Where the heck are the large groups and communities of Unschoolers all in one place?? I wanna move near one!!

~Peace & Love, Dayna
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#150 of 200 Old 01-04-2007, 12:24 AM
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nak

I'm totally fine with this kind of scenario under certain circumstances. If we're at the playground and ds asks to use their toy and they say that, no problem. But if we are invited over to their house, and the child decides that ds can't play with this and can't play with that, and won't share the toy he's playing with, then yeah, it's rude. Ds just stands there obviously hurt. He's even asked me "Why did he invite me over if he doesn't want to play?" Then there's the grabbing, the yelling for what they want. Yelling at my ds when they want their toy back. Grabbing from my 2yo. Appalling backtalk to their parents. Saying generally rude things to us. None of this is okay with us, and it is what we are encountering more often than not.

The reason I posted this in homeschooling is that it is seriously making me doubt our decision to homeschool. Ds begs every day to play with someone, and the only kids available during the day at his age are hs'ed kids.

I think this calls for natural consequences.

If there are kids whose parents, for whatever reasons, choose to allow them to disregard the rules of polite interaction with others, the natural consequence is that people will choose not to interact with them.

I find some of the behavior described here to be very rude -- behavior that, for me, goes far beyond frank or honest and into selfish and careless of others' feelings. I don't know whether this behavior is caused by unschooling, or whether a general attitude on the part of the parents is consistent with unschooling, or whether the two are merely coincidental.

Either way, I don't believe that all homeschooling will result in a rude, ill-mannered child; quite the reverse, I think. In the end, I believe children are far better socialized by their family than by random groups of children, but that's just my .02.
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