She calls it radical unschooling...

Lady Heather - posted on 08/04/2011 ( 42 moms have responded )

2,448

17

91

...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."

etc.

http://demandeuphoria.blogspot.com/2011/...

This sounds like my worst nightmare.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Victoria - posted on 08/10/2011

4

0

0

I am the writer of the original blog post that this thread is based on. I appreciate that this is a forum for debate, and that as a blogger I put my ideas out there for the purpose of being debated. I do not take the comments on this thread or anywhere else personally. You all do not know me, so you are not talking about me. You are talking about my ideas that I wrote down and shared.
I anticipated that there would be a backlash after this post I wrote. I even predicted that people would take the most extreme examples out of context. I wrote about the extremes because I was being honest. I wanted to show what it really looks like, not color it in so it looked perfect. I did write (in bold type) that most of the time, our lives look pretty balanced. But I know it’s tempting to latch on to the extremes. I find it interesting that some comments have been made along the lines of this:
“They won't eat healthy if you don't offer healthy foods for them.”
I clearly stated that my kids do choose to eat “healthy” foods and therefore I must be offering them, right? They make choices at the store and at home, just like adults do. Sometimes they choose what would be considered by some to be healthy, sometimes not. And the debate over “healthy” is not exactly settled. There are people who think meat is bad for us, and other who think meat is one of the only good things for us. I’m letting my kids choose based on what feels good for them. It is fascinating to watch.
And to everyone who says my ways are giving unschooling a bad name… I apologize. It is unfortunate that radical unschooling is called what it is. I would prefer not to use that name but unfortunately it is the best label available for what I am doing with my children. If you read at www.sandradodd.com, you will see that I am in fact no more extreme than other parents who are radical unschooling. I realize this is completely different than “unschooling.”
Also, words like “mook” and “lazy arse” and “my worst nightmare” don’t do much but add drama to this debate. And while I did post a link to this thread on my blog’s Facebook page, I assure you I did not “send my troops” here to lecture anyone. I appreciate Maria’s attempt to provide more information. I know my friends and family get defensive about this, even when I don’t. I don’t feel the need to defend myself or prove anything about my parenting. I hope the debate will continue and I am happy to participate.

[deleted account]

"But I know it’s tempting to latch on to the extremes."

You and your friend did the same with the comments in this thread. Not everyone in this debate were critical.

Also, I hope that y'all stay around Debating Mums. I'm sure you'll have a lot to offer and bring different perspectives in our debates.

Tasha - posted on 08/09/2011

156

0

0

I think giving children freedom to make decisions early helps them become better decision makers in the long run, as long as the decisions are not directly putting theyre saftey at risk in any way i dont see a problem. I think that its important to realize that all familys work different and to respect that, if we were all raised exactly the same that would be terrible, we are individuals because of nature and nurture, our familys help shape us and our differences make us awesome.

Sal - posted on 08/09/2011

1,816

16

34

ohhh and as a side, your freind posted a blog about her life, she had it open for the world to read, no one followed her around and wrote a nasty story about her, she has left herself open to and indeed invited debate about her parenting style, and if she didn;t think the cookies for breakfast and no bed times were the best things about her pareting choices why didn;t she mention the other good things she done, assumptions and opinions can only be based on the info she gave, so no one is picking on your freind, just the story she told us

Charlie - posted on 08/05/2011

11,203

111

409

CNN just did a great article on unschooling.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/08/03/uns...

Sudbury school is actually a place that facilitates unschooling practices.

"A lot of parents express concern that 'my kid is going to end up doing nothing,'" Sargent said. "And that may be true for a certain amount of time, but we as a species are very curious and we have this innate need to learn... People may sit around for a while, but then they get bored and they want to be involved."

"Approximately 90% of Sudbury Valley's graduates go on to college (compared with 69% of graduates from the public education system). Those opposed to unschooling often say students will have trouble adapting to the real world when confronted with grades, tests or working 9 to 5 under an authority figure.

Molly Morningstar isn't worried. The 19-year-old pre-med student at Hapmshire College in Massachusetts said the freedom she found at SVS didn't teach her to avoid work -- it taught her to work hard at whatever she enjoyed."

I hate that the OP has confused lack of parenting with unschooling .

42 Comments

View replies by

Victoria - posted on 08/11/2011

4

0

0

"You and your friend did the same with the comments in this thread. Not everyone in this debate were critical."

You're right. I appreciate all of the comments on here, critical or not. They all help me learn, think, and clarify my position. Thanks to everyone for the discussion.

Tara - posted on 08/10/2011

2,567

14

114

Again, playing devils advocate for both sides here.
The blog post that was the OP is misleading in it's extremes. It doesn't speak much about the totality of the unschooling experience which leads many readers to believe or assume that what is written is a good representation of fact. Which clearly it is not.

When I read the OP I didn't think that she uses those left over marshmallows for crafts, because the line used was "It looks like taking one bite of a (usually beloved) marshmallow and throwing out the rest because it's too sweet at that moment. " So we assume throwing out means garbage. Not tossed into a craft bin for later use.

Another example would be "It looks like eating cookies and popsicles for breakfast. " which to some reads like the child eats popsicles and cookies for breakfast the regular. And I doubt that is trued. I would imagine what this really meant was "If they choose to eat cookies for breakfast, that's okay cause I know they will regulate their food intake and choose healthy options at some point in the day."
It's different. I let my kids make their own breakfast, sometimes they eat a peach and some yogourt, some days they eat a granola bar and some apple sauce, sometimes they make french toast, some times they eat a cookie and a glass of milk for breakfast!! No worries here, a cookie for breaky isn't going to hurt them. They know that they will be hungry again later, because they know that a cookie is mostly sugar and carbs and they know they need protein to build muscles and vitamins to stay healthy. So they know this, so do I. Letting them choose their food doesn't negate the fact they know about nutrition. And it doesn't mean they will be malnourished or deficient.

Letting my kids go to sleep when they are tired is a no brainer, you can't force a kid to sleep anymore than you can force a child to learn.
You can force them to remember something, you can force them to eat a food they don't like. But you can't force a child to "learn" something and you can't force a child to like a certain food just cause you made them eat it.

Kids are amazing at self regulation if we give them the space and time needed to know what that "self" needs.
Even toddlers can choose to eat healthy on their own if given healthy choices.

It's not so extreme as the OP was, and I imagine a lot of that was shock value more than anything else!

[deleted account]

-wonder why they have all that crappy food in the house. You'd think the least they could do is have good choices there so the kids would be indirectly influenced to eat the good stuff. Ha. It just makes me shudder. I also don't like the waste involved. I want my kids to learn to respect the planet.-

This was the comment I was responding to and wanted to clarify.

Defensiveness is part of who I am (reason #1 why I do not blog). I did not intend for it to come out in my post, I'm still working on that ...

-...in our world we waste so much food, organic or other wise buying food and letting kids just take one bite and tossing it is a waste, a waste of food money resourses....everyone should be taught to respect our resourses, and well behaved and healthy aside they are not repecting the world we live in-

Because 'food' isn't eaten, doesn't mean it is going to waste. Marshmallows can be used for lots of things, crafts for example. All of my uneaten food goes into a compost which nourishes the soil and also feeds my chickens. Just because it is not eaten, does not mean it is going into the garbage.
I was forced to "finish everything on my plate" growing up. That is something I still battle with as an adult. Even if I am full, I feel as though my plate must be empty. This is something I do not want to pass on to my kids.

-And who said anything about feeding cereal and bagels?-

Cereal and bagels are the standard breakfast for children where I live. I was assuming no one would have a problem if she fed cereal and bagels to her
kids for breakfast, as opposed to the reaction to popsicles and cookies.


-Trololololl—

And I don’t feel as though I was being a Troll…but I’m glad if I gave you a good laugh.

Sal - posted on 08/09/2011

1,816

16

34

maria (i just lost a post somehow so if this is repested sorry) my daughter just jumped up and down excited over a ham sandwich a popper of soy mik, somedays how ever she is obsessed with lollies and it has nothing what so ever to do with her being allowed to waste food...in our world we waste so much food, organic or other wise buying food and letting kids just take one bite and tossing it is a waste, a waste of food money resourses....everyone should be taught to respect our resourses, and well behaved and healthy aside they are not repecting the world we live in

Sherri - posted on 08/09/2011

9,593

15

391

NOPE NOPE NOPE!!!!

My kids have zero say about food (except snacks and a few choices for lunch), bathing, bedtimes or helping around the house.

Ez - posted on 08/09/2011

6,569

25

237

Maria, this is not an attack on your friend personally. This is a debate on the parenting ideology she employs. There is a huge difference. There's really no need for her to send in the troops to lecture us :-/

Corinne - posted on 08/09/2011

1,288

14

121

While you Maria, have the advantage of knowing Victoria personally, we do not. We were debating the subject from the extract in the OP and the link to the blog and follow up. These are our thoughts, feelings and opinions on the information that was given.

[deleted account]

Maria, I was with you on your post...mostly. You don't have to be defensive. This IS a debating board. It's quite different than the rest of COM. We take something and pick it apart and debate every aspect. What was debated is what's written in this article. There was no mention of organic foods nor was Popsicle defined. So what are people supposed to think? And who said anything about feeding cereal and bagels? How do YOU know the women on this post don't serve fresh fruit from the garden and homemade whole wheat bread for breakfast? Just as judgmental maybe? Anyway, my point is, you don't have to be defensive, because everything is debated here.

[deleted account]

Your worst nightmare? Wow. That is a strong statement. I can think of MUCH worse things that can happen in a family.
You jumped to a lot of wrong conclusions and completely missed the point of DE's post.
I know the family personally and I can assure you that the children are healthy and well fed. They are offered a variety of foods on a regular basis. The point is, since the candy/junk food is not restricted, the kids don't value it so much. They might take one bite of a marshmallow or make a building out of fun dip sticks instead of eating them, because they don't cherish these sweets.
My kids, on the other hand, who have had their sweets intake regulated by me for most of their lives, would not leave one drop of a cherished piece of candy untouched.
I have seen DE's children reach for a piece of fruit or meat over a piece of candy or desert many times. I have seen them show no interest in trick or treating while my kids run door to door gathering as much candy as they can.
DE shops at healthy stores and buys mostly organic foods for her family. She is one of the most healthy parents I know.
The breakfast of popsicles and cookies most likely was fruit juice pops and a whole grain, organic cookie. If you think this breakfast is any worse for you than a glass of juice and a bagel or a bowl of cereal, you are fooling yourself. A comparison of the sugar content of cereal or bagels or Toaster Strudels or a cookie is about the same.
Her kids are well-behaved, friendly, happy and respectful. Vickie is, hands-down, the most attentive, caring & compassionate PARENT, and person, I know. It's too bad this 'Circle of Moms' isn't more respectful to all types of parenting styles. Sounds pretty judgemental to me.

Corinne - posted on 08/08/2011

1,288

14

121

I did read the entire post and the follow up. Although you didn't try to define unschooling, you did state that as you and your husband read more on the subject, you realised that you wanted to and could trust your children. This implies that you agree with and are using methods you read about, correct? It may be that you have a more extreme take on those methods, others may not go so far. I personally could not tolerate living this way.

Victoria - posted on 08/08/2011

4

0

0

Wow, "mook" is a new word for me. I've never been called that before. If anyone would like to actually read the entire post, you will see that in no way do I attempt to define unschooling. I do mention once that my parenting is influenced by *radical unschooling* which is a well-defined philosophy that my style fits in with very well. If you care to learn more about it, try www.sandradodd.com. Thanks for all the discussion.

Corinne - posted on 08/07/2011

1,288

14

121

This just sounds like lazy arsed parenting and to lump it with unschooling tars others, who use unschooling 'properly', with the same filthy, unwashed brush. This is why I hate labels. Just because this mook took the label and said 'here, look at me!' a whole laod of people are going to be judged for the wrong reasons and that is unfair. (As is judging)

Amanda - posted on 08/07/2011

2,559

3

366

The more I read about unschooling the more I realize I have been unschooling for 13 years. Though I am no where near the extreme cases (IMO thats just lazy parenting), I do have "bed time" but this does not mean sleep time im my house, it means its time to go to your rooms for the night. Relax and go to sleep when you are ready (of course if i catch children up at 3 am, mommy has to step in and tell them its sleep time, even with my "unschooling" if a bad choice is made mom does need to correct it. As for chores around the house, I am old school, everyone has a job in this home, and they must do it daily, before they can leave the home. Do I care if it takes them all day? Nope, unless guests are coming over then they have a time limit.



As for lazy, my 13 year old has had a job for a year now, my 11 year old is always trying to find ways to make money, ie doing more house work. They both have active lives, and good school grades dispite me not forcing them to study every night.



They both have goals in life, the boy one day wants to own a home, the 13 year old is going to get a good job so she can have a fun social life, and own everything shes ever wanted lol.

[deleted account]

While I would never chose to live that way, I do have to say that using fun sticks as a building tool is brilliant. It's a much better use of those nasty things than eating them. ;)

Tara - posted on 08/06/2011

2,567

14

114

Exactly Jen, that's why most of us are saying this is not radical unschooling, this is lazy parenting or "unparenting" as far as I'm concerned.
This has nothing to do with learning or education.
They won't eat healthy if you don't offer healthy foods for them.

[deleted account]

If your child has all sweets for breakfast after a night of staying up for hours and hours, how on earth do they expect them to be healthy?

Tara - posted on 08/06/2011

2,567

14

114

Excellent article Loureen, I've met Dr. Ricci before, Nipissing University is only about 2 hours from here, he speaks at the unschooling conferences we attend.

I agree 100% with this story and I've seen the actual results, within my own family.

Kids will not sit around and do nothing, they will find things to do that they like or want to learn more about.

They are naturally curious, it's our job to keep them curious.

I love my unschooling life, wouldn't change it for the world and look forward to seeing my kids grow into independent free and lateral thinkers, all in their own time..

I have no fears that they won't learn maths, be able to read or write, or to articulate their thoughts. I have no fears that they will still be sitting on our couch in 20 years playing "pet rescue" on their DSi. I have no fears that my 15 year old will only ever spend his free time composing music and writing lyrics. (which he does a lot of the time, but I know he also has other interests).

I have no fear that they will not be able to live in our society because they were unschooled. I have all the confidence in the world that they will do well at whatever they choose to do, because I'm confident they will do things with their lives that make them happy, that fulfill their desires and that will utilize the skills they sought to gain.

Great post!

Tara - posted on 08/05/2011

2,567

14

114

Self Regulation Erin.

My oldest kids were raised without bed times, without structured eating times, without structured learning times etc.
My almost 18 year old has 2 jobs, 2 volunteer position and is attending college classes as well. He did all this on his own, he chose to get jobs so he could support his fishing habit. He chooses to get up on time, despite having no bedtime nor waking time his entire childhood and early teen years.
My 15 year old son, spent the last year getting up at about noon and doing his schoolwork when he felt like it, going to bed when he wanted etc. He has had this routine most of his teen years.
This summer he got a full time job, being a helper on a truck that delivers bottled water and pop etc. to stores and other businesses. He likes the money that comes from working and so self-regulated his sleep so he could be well rested for work and up and out the door on time.

He learned that while he can have his schedule, he must adapt to the world we live in.
Not a big deal really, we all self regulate. Just as you won't find many 13 yr old boys still breastfeeding or sleeping with their parents, most kids will adapt and mature and move on... they will learn what they need to learn, they will regulate what needs regulated, not because we tell them to, but because they see and feel a real need to do so, for their benefit.

Kids who are raised this way don't go through life not having routines and schedules, they don't end up homeless because they can't keep a schedule or respect boundaries etc.
They all determine what they want and need and make the necessary personal changes to meet those demands.

It seems so radical when it's dealing with young kids, but those young kids will grow up to be independent and to make choices that serve their needs.
Just pointing out that a 10 year old who is raised this way will not necessarily turn into a 15 year old sloth who has no direction and no ability for them to regulate themselves.
It's simply not true. Most kids will do what they need and what they want, when they need or want it.
So a child who figures he will never clean his cess pool of a room, may decide to it when he realizes his room smells and his friends won't visit or when he has an interest in a girl, or when he can't find his favourite cd, or a guitar pic, knowing he has 20 of them... these things will all lead to a child making the choice to clean up his room.
etc. etc.

Ez - posted on 08/05/2011

6,569

25

237

So I take it these parents don't plan on their kids ever having jobs then? Because how the hell can a child who is being raised like this ever adapt to real life?



I believe in giving children age appropriate choices. But absolutely no boundaries is setting them up for failure. It might work while they're little, but what about the rest of their life?

Jodi - posted on 08/05/2011

3,562

36

3907

Yeah, I'm kind of thinking lazy parenting. Honestly, the real world doesn't work that way. In the real world, there are boundaries and limits within which even adults have to be able to function. I allow my kids a lot of choices too, but they have boundaries, and they know those boundaries, and actually, they don't have issue with those boundaries. We can't have everything we want in the way we want in life. That is something they also need to learn. Sounds to me like in these extreme cases the children are never going to learn that. Good luck!

Sal - posted on 08/05/2011

1,816

16

34

it looks like the kids running the house.....or the lunitic running the assylm as they say (please don;'t bite, just using an old saying not making rude remarks about the mental state of the children...the parents....well maybe)....there is a very good reason why humans have such a long parenting bond with our off spring, because kids don;t always make the best choices, sounds like a great way to spend a holiday, not a great way to spend a life...

Becky - posted on 08/04/2011

2,892

44

93

I'm sure there are parents who practice this style of parenting who are less extreme than the writer of this blog appears to be. And maybe if my children were older, it wouldn't seem so crazy to me. It occurs to me though, this type of parenting - to that extent anyway - would really only work for a family who homeschooled/unschooled. If your children are going to go to a traditional school, you are going to need to have some structure in your lives. They need to be up and out the door by a certain time -therefore, they need to be in bed at a decent time the night before. To some extent, once they're older (I wouldn't say at 5 or 6), you can let them choose their own bedtime and suffer the consequences if it's 2 am and they have to be up for school at 6:30, but unless you're willing to allow their health to suffer and them to flunk out of school, eventually you may have to put some regulations into place. They can't eat what they want, when they want during school hours, so they need to learn to have some structure around mealtimes as well. So, since, at this point, we won't be homeschooling, this method really wouldn't work for us. Not that I have any objection to homeschooling, I just don't, at this point, think it's for us. But my kids aren't school-aged yet, so that could certainly change if I don't feel traditional school is meeting their needs. Plus, we always eat dinner as a family - as much as possible at least. That is very important to us - it's family time, which we don't get a huge amount of, since dh is gone before the kids get up and doesn't get home till 6 pm. So the idea of the kids just grabbing whatever, whenever, wouldn't work with that.
That said, I do agree with some of their practices. Like the media freedom. We don't really regulate when or what our kids can watch. Some days we watch a lot of TV, some days, none at all. Some days we watch Cars 2-3 times or Mickey Mouse all day (poor me, lol!) Others, we watch one or two kids programs and then I change it to my shows and the kids are busy playing and don't object. We do regulate it to an extent, in that we don't allow them to watch violent or scary shows, because they're so young, and they don't have TV's in their rooms, so the TV viewing is still within our control. But it's not regimented. And, although we do have a bedtime, when it comes to naps, we're pretty lax. The little one takes a nap, but it's when he's tired, not at a set time. The older one only takes one if he needs one, we don't make him have a nap or quiet time. So I don't totally disagree with her, it's just a lot more extreme than I can see myself being!

Stifler's - posted on 08/04/2011

15,141

154

604

I don't actually know what to make of this. Sure, kids need to be able to make choices rather than have everything scheduled and stuff but all that crazy food whenever they like will not be on in my house until they pay for it themselves. It just reeks of lazy arse parenting and sounds like they have no rules and can't be bothered enforcing anything from the blog.

Karla - posted on 08/04/2011

1,555

48

99

Hi. My “Helpful,” “Nice,” “Funny,” and “Encouraging” buttons are not working, otherwise a bunch of you would have some “Helpful” points here!

We homeschooled the kids when they were little. With the first we unschooled, but my other kids all asked for something more and I ended up with an eclectic curriculum with set times to work on projects, read, etc. That worked better for me as well because seeing progress was reassuring.

Concerning the OP, I did run into some unschoolers with that method, and they loved it. I do think with my first we did get close to that point, but I cannot imagine bringing much junk food into the house. Offering healthy choices has always been our goal, (of course with a few fun dessert items.)

I have lost touch with the more “radical” unschooling friends I had and I often wonder what their kids are doing now. I wonder about college, or what career path they took – such as whether or not their work life has a lot of structure or is more free spirited.

Maybe it should be called free-spirited home-schooling.

Lady Heather - posted on 08/04/2011

2,448

17

91

I guess we do that for bed time too. We don't have sleep time. We have quiet time in your room time. Ha. Freja is often "reading books" for a while and she talks to herself and her stuffies. I know I did the same thing when I was a kid. I don't see the harm in that. I can't force myself to sleep so how can I say a toddler should do so? So probably less extreme aspects of this we do all the time. Probably lots of parents do.

It makes sense that we would gradually self-regulate over time. I think most animals naturally tend towards healthy choices when placed in their natural environment. I don't know that access to 16 packs of Fun Dips is what I would call natural though. Ha. I showed it to the husband and he said "man, if we'd had that around when I was a kid, I'd have been eating the hell out of it all the time." Ha.

Tara - posted on 08/04/2011

2,567

14

114

I agree that it does seem like these parents are just there to maintain their children's basic needs and not much more. However I do know some kids who are unschooled AND unparented. They are older now and I have known them for many many years. They all learned to self regulate very early on. When they were babies and toddlers, their regulation came from their parents. They slept with them and when they were tired, they went to bed. They were left to decide when they left and went to their own room, by age 5 they were going to sleep on their own, in their own rooms all at reasonable albeit different times. And they slept a normal sleep. As they got older their sleeping needs changed, so the parents allowed the kids to determine when they went to sleep. (we do this at home with the older kids as well) but my friend would allow the kids run of the house past age 8 or so. if they were up, they were allowed anywhere else, except where sleeping people were.
We however have a rule, there is a bedroom time. It isn't a "go to sleep time" if you are not tired, you may have your bed side lamp on, you can colour, write, read, use your dsi, draw and sketch, make jewelry, do bead work, etc. etc. until you are tired. It works great here.

These other kids though, did have this attitude that there were no limits or boundaries of personal space and needs of others in the house. They were selfish kids in a lot of ways. Food was a problem for awhile, wasting of food, eating only a little bit of something salty, throwing it out and moving onto something sweet etc. so the mom told everyone all the food waste went into a plastic bin. At the end of 3 days the bin was full and she showed it to them and simply said "you guys threw all this food out, and there's nothing wrong with any of it". and that was it. They still wasted but not as much.

I guess my point, if I have one is that radical unschooling/unparenting isn't always as extreme and kids will learn to self regulate, but it takes time and life and guidance and limits. For awhile anyhow, the older they become, the more skills they have, the less we need to assist them with their day to day stuff. And for us that means we have even more time to dedicate to enriching our relationships and their world of knowledge and experiences...

This story is really "in your face". It's meant for shock value and it irks me that they use the term unschooling. But in the end most of the parents who do parent this way, aren't so extreme, even when they say they are.. they all have little things they just can't let go of..

Becky - posted on 08/04/2011

2,892

44

93

Cole usually says he wants macaroni and cheese for breakfast when I ask him. Or perogies. No matter how many times I tell him those aren't breakfast foods! Which is why I don't allow my children free choice of what to eat, when. He would never eat anything but "maco and cheese." And chocolate.

Lady Heather - posted on 08/04/2011

2,448

17

91

Yeah, most of the time when I ask Freja what she wants for breakfast she says tacos and cake. So now I just give her a few healthy options to choose from and she is happy with that. Sometimes I don't give her a choice and I just make something. Yeah...evil.

Lady Heather - posted on 08/04/2011

2,448

17

91

It does sort of make me wonder what their job is. It seems like they just exist to make sure the kids don't blow themselves up or something. And clean up the messes the kids don't want to clean. There's just such a lack of respect for other people and the planet. I can't get on board with that.

Becky - posted on 08/04/2011

2,892

44

93

I don't know how a person lives like this! If your 2 year old is up from midnight to 3 am, that means so are you! Unless you're allowing them to roam the house freely unsupervised during that time, which is just asking for trouble! What if all your kids have different sleep schedules - then when do you sleep? How do you get out of the house ever, if everyone is choosing to sleep and eat at different times? I am by no means a structured or routine person, but this sounds way too chaotic for me! I do agree with allowing children to make their own choices, but within limits. Cookies and popsicles for breakfast, NOT gonna happen, ever! In fact, just this morning I had to tell my kids they couldn't have a frozen yogurt bar for breakfast! It kind of sounds like lazy parenting to me.

[deleted account]

I believe in freedom within boundaries. The kid chooses what she wants to eat most of the time (except supper, we all eat the same thing) but I only keep good food in the house. She goes to bed when she's tired, which happens to be within the same hour every night. If she doesn't want to take a bath, we just do a quick rinse and scrub and rinse. If she wants to watch more TV, I have some activities on hand that are 'more fun' than TV, and she quickly forgets the TV. I COULD NOT live like the person in the OP. I do allow more freedom than some. But I'm the parent, and I'm going to guide my child to make good decisions.

Minnie - posted on 08/04/2011

7,076

9

788

Yeah, see our children have free range of the kitchen. They can eat whatever they want, whenever they want. But the key here is that we don't keep anything they can't have all day every day. I'm responsible for their health and safety- sure I want them to make choices, but our species tends toward quick-energy high carb foods and the kids are going to flock towards a bag of marshmallows over a chicken salad if they have the choice. It's simply not in our home.

I do hate it when radical unschooling is grouped in with an educational philosophy. Gives unschooling a bad rap.

Lady Heather - posted on 08/04/2011

2,448

17

91

I was hoping to hear from you Tara because I was pretty sure this wasn't unschooling either. I wonder why they have all that crappy food in the house. You'd think the least they could do is have good choices there so the kids would be indirectly influenced to eat the good stuff. Ha. It just makes me shudder. I also don't like the waste involved. I want my kids to learn to respect the planet. Wasting food and leaving the tv on when no one is watching it is not respectful at all.

Minnie - posted on 08/04/2011

7,076

9

788

Yeah, it wouldn't work for us. Take bedtime, for example. I can tell when they're tired- but it doesn't always mean they want to go to bed! We get lots of negotiation attempts, lol. If I let them make the choice to stay up til midnight we'd have a pretty grumpy family. The girls would be whacking each other over the head and shrieking they'd be so overtired and my husband and I would never have time to ourselves.

There are some things I give my girls free choice on, food and meal times, clothing, and what they want to learn on a particular day, but others have to have boundaries in place for our family to run smoothly.

Tara - posted on 08/04/2011

2,567

14

114

I call it radical unparenting.
I am an unschooler, I am a free range parent, I allow my kids tons of freedoms to make good choices, I provide examples and I model the type of behaviour I want my kids to have.
I believe in allowing them to make choices that are appropriate for them.
I don't allow them to consume sweets whenever they choose, they must eat a healthy diet and maintain their dental hygiene. I know parents who are like this, their dental bills are HUGE.
There kids are smart and healthy and good natured, but they have bad teeth.

Not a nightmare to me.
And it has nothing to do with homeschooling/unschooling or education at all.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms