Lady Heather - posted on 08/04/2011 ( 42 moms have responded )
...I don't know what to call it:
"My children have a lot of freedom. They are free to make their own choices about lots of things like food, television, sleep, bathing, helping around the house. This makes a lot of people nervous. I have had more than a few people tell me, That's great if it works for you, but it wouldn't work for my kids. My kids wouldn't be able to regulate themselves.
I understand it's difficult to imagine what it looks like when you allow children this kind of control over their own lives. We grow up being told that children are incapable of making good decisions. It's hard to let that idea go. I was doubtful about it when I first read the suggestion, not long ago. But as we read more about radical unschooling, my husband and I decided we could and wanted to trust our children.
About a year and a half later, I can definitely report that the freedom is "working" for us. My kids are happy and healthy and fun, and we have wonderful relationships with each other. That doesn't mean it's always easy or that it always looks pretty, though. Some days the kids make choices that seem to be extreme and, if taken out of context, would probably make us look like "bad" parents.
So what does freedom look like in our house?
Food freedom looks like eating broccoli and pickles at midnight. It looks like eating cookies and popsicles for breakfast. It looks like taking one bite of a (usually beloved) marshmallow and throwing out the rest because it's too sweet at that moment. It looks like eating six packets of fruit snacks in twenty minutes. It looks like opening 16 packages of Fun Dip all at once and using the dip sticks made of sugar to make the Empire State Building (instead of eating them) while watching James and the Giant Peach."
This sounds like my worst nightmare.