Posted on March 1, 2013 by The Shepherdess: A Guide to Mothering without Control
Progressive parents focus on listening to the needs of their child, validating those needs and responding. We shouldn’t judge what our child wants but accept it as valid and do everything we can to try and meet that need. We need to try and ‘find the yes’ in any request our child is communicating to us (in their words or actions). In our culture we tend to say no so commonly it becomes almost a verbal tic for us – but why don’t we make more of an effort to always ‘find the yes’ for our child? Why are we always saying no?
Of course, this can be very difficult in the real world and sometimes safety, nature and time stop us from saying yes. The point is, though, we throw around the word ‘no’ for arbitrary reasons all the time, or simply for our own convenience. I have often thought if mothers were given a set of 200 ‘no’ cards when their baby was born, that once they ran out of they could no longer use, it would be interesting to see how quickly they were used up. In two years? Three? How wonderful if there were still some left over when they reached adulthood.
Progressive parents try not to use ‘no’ as their default response and say yes more – or some form of yes. It can be helpful to think that unless the request is a genuine safety issue then why not? Progressive parents see their role as doing their utmost to ‘find the yes’ in any request – putting their child’s needs before what’s most convenient for them and dropping arbitrary rules for why they can’t do something.
‘Yes’ can come in all forms:
Yes, we can do that when I have finished this – if you help me we
can do it even sooner.
Yes, you can have that – let’s look at ways to help you save the
Yes, we can do that later as I am tired or busy right now.
Yes, you can jump up and down, but how about we take it outside?
Yes, you can draw or paint on walls – but how about we do it on the
garage walls, or in the yard?
Yes, you can eat in the lounge – let me get a blanket for you or a
Yes, you can do some hammering – let’s move it outside and get
you some things you can smash.
Saying yes and affirming our children as human beings is a gift to everyone involved. So go ahead, say yes to your kids!
Filed under: Children's rights, motherhood, Parenting, unschooling | Tagged: finding the yes, Progressive Parenting, unschooling | Comments Off
Posted on January 21, 2013 by The Shepherdess: A Guide to Mothering without Control
It’s like “just say no.”
Just say no to school years and school schedules and school expectations, school habits and fears and terminology. Just say no to separating the world into important and unimportant things, into separating knowledge into math, science, history and language arts, with music, art and “PE” set in their less important little places.
Most of unschooling has to happen inside the parents. They need to spend some time sorting out what is real from what is construct, and what occurs in nature from what only occurs in school (and then in the minds of those who were told school was real life, school was a kid’s fulltime job, school was more important than anything, school would keep them from being ignorant, school would make them happy and rich and right).
It’s what happens after all that school stuff is banished from your life. – Sandra Dodd, http://www.sandradodd.com
Filed under: unschooling | Comments Off
Posted on July 8, 2012 by The Shepherdess: A Guide to Mothering without Control
Here is a fab article about unschooling. As an unschooling advocate and an unschooler myself, what I find disconcerting, but not at all surprising , is all the negative comments left which are very much rooted in fear. Some accused the nay-sayers of being brainwashed. What I will say is before I started unschooling it really shocked me to realise how many of, what I felt were, enlightened alternative viewpoints were every bit as ‘scripted’ as those of conventional parents. Alternative parents often parrot similar views back and forth to one another, reinforcing certain ideals that essentially are the same as conventional parenting: children need to learn our X and they won’t learn it without our intervention. Once I truly understood that learning is a basic human drive that was when unschooling took off. That said, I do not believe unschooling is better for every family. It doesn’t work if the parent isn’t adaptable to the changing needs of their children. That really is key. For example, a parent who prefers to be relaxed and spontaneous may not be able to adapt to a child who needs routines. Likewise, a parent who requires structure, cleanliness, and order and can’t let that go will not make a good unschooling parent. Parents must learn to adapt to the needs and interests of very different children for unschooling to thrive!
Filed under: Homeschooling, unschooling | Tagged: alternative education, alternative parenting, discipline, education, parenting ideals, unschooling | 2 Comments »