Sunday, April 21, 2013

Radical Unschooling is NOT Permissive Parenting



diagram by Anne Wood



Over the years, Radical Unschooling has been mistaken for “permissive parenting,” and many judgments have been made about it based on this misbelief. The truth is, Radical Unschooling is an extension of Attachment Parenting philosophy and is a very hands-on, involved approach based on connection, rather than control. The philosophy is about being a child’s partner and focusing on their true needs and helping them get what they want in life through partnership and love, rather than the traditional focus on training a child through behavior modification to meet the parents needs for compliance and obedience. Radical Unschooling honors the child’s needs just as much as the parents, and a side effect of that is that children grow up learning that everyone’s needs matter equally, not just those in power. After all, children learn what they live!

Most people do not know of any other options, other than control. The only other “logical” thing they know is what our collective culture knows, is that it is being hands-off, or permissive if we are not punishing, or controlling behavior of our children. They view anything other than traditional parenting as neglectful, or lazy, because they have never learned another way. The “experts and authorities” in our culture have done a very good job at selling people the need to be controlled, themselves.

Those raised in an authoritarian paradigm were told that it was all “necessary,” and done for our “own good” and that it was done “out of love.” It was confusing to be trained to meet the adults needs around us. Our behavior was all that mattered and having negative intent assumed from us chipped away at our self-esteem. Being told that power and force was necessary and without it we were not loved or cared for, is one of our cultures biggest lies and one that has been spoon-fed to us for generations. It has become a collective belief.

Our culture indirectly tells us that being nice and respecting children is neglectful and lazy. People do not realize how brainwashed they have been to believe this message! They also do not see that this lie has been passed down for so long, because of the mental anguish it would cause us all if we didn’t buy into this idea. People aren’t ready to see that the disrespect and mistreatment wasn’t necessary for their “own good.” People do not want to face the truth, because it won’t allow them to go on controlling, punishing and training their children any longer and it will force them to finally validate the inner knowing of injustice that was prevalent in their own upbringing and do something different and dare I say, better.

Radical Unschooling is not easy, nor is is lazy. It takes time and effort to find ways to meet the needs of everyone in the family and respect everyone equally! It takes listening, problem solving and critical thinking. It takes patience, understanding and discussion. Some people in our culture don’t want things to change and evolve, because they still want to force others to meet their needs, rather than taking the responsibility to meet their own. They will be very resistant to honoring the basic human rights of children. They desperately want to hold on to an authoritarian paradigm because without it, they need to step up and take full responsibility for their own needs being met. Many will still choose the easy road, of forcing children to obey them, but it is not without dyer consequences to their relationship and connection.

Ignorance is comfortable and easy. Facing the truth causes great pain to our culture, but it is here and staring us all in the face. Children’s right are next on the human rights agenda and it is happening, right before your eyes.

So many of us are saying, Radical Unschooling is not permissive parenting! It is not lazy, abusive or hand-off. This lie can not be passed down any longer, because an uprising is happening and children and teens are seeing the option for kindness and respect themselves through the eyes of others being raised with more respect and human rights. You can’t repress a conscious, aware generation. The lie can’t survive in a culture that isn’t buying into it anymore.

In the above diagram, you can see where Unschooling falls in the “Compass of Parenting.” I hope this helps you see that there is a lot our culture has yet to learn and those of us walking a path of loving and respecting our children as humans beings and not property. It is truly raising the bar on so many levels, and many people aren’t ready for it yet, but awareness can’t be stopped. We are here to share the truth and open the door for understanding a more respectful, peaceful way to treat children that is modelling and creating more peace, love and connection with the world.

Are you ready?!

~Peace & Love, Dayna






10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog today! In my family, we practice AP I am currently nursing my almost 4 year old and 15 month old, we have a family bed, and I try my best to respect my kids needs, however, I struggle with things at times. How do you differentiate between control and safety? For example I try and redirect my 15 month old when she wants to go in the street, or we need to go somewhere and she is not interested in sitting in her car seat. Or my son wants to play outside, but I need to make dinner or finish laundry. He likes to play in the front and although I let him be alone outside I'd feel more comfortable he play alone in the back. I want to respect their needs, but at such young ages it's hard for me not to sometimes control the situation. Any suggestions?
-Valerie

mb said...

i really appreciate this post, dayna. very validating, because yes, you hear from all sides that this is a surefire way to be a permissive parent. i like the compass image- did you make it? are you ok with it being shared? i have often tried to explain that i see attachment parenting/unconditional parenting in a whole different paradigm than the coericive/permissive continuum, like we jumped the tracks of that continuum in order to do something better. but this diagram says it much more succinctly.

heymagic said...

Hi,
I saw the Wife Swap show. I really admire you for what you have chosen to do.
I am a 66 year old husband of 47 years, father of 3, grandfather of 6. I have never been a big fan of public school, homework, time away from family, etc.
The more I have seen of this world, the more my being tells me that what we do in this country is wrong and broken. I am not saying it would be impossible to have schools that provide a place for willing participants to gather to learn. I just have not really seen it. I have made plenty of mistakes and I am still making them, but I know that having children is amazing, and every opportunity to spend time with them is a gift.
I have some younger sailing friends, who with their two children, Ouest (3) and Lowe (1) , live on a sailboat in Mexico. They are Bumfuzzle.com. Soon they will have to wrestle with the question that brings cruising families to shore, "What about school"? It is a tough question to wrestle with in a world of social pressure.
The only thing I wonder about in your family, is the reading. I talked to my kids at a young age about all the amazing adventures the could read about to amplify there own imagination. If they were interested, I taught them phonics with the emphasis on fun and laughter as we sounded out those words. I might have missed what you do about that, but I did not miss how eager that little girl was to show you her"crafts" , and what an amazing, loving, time that was to witness.
I hope you and your family continue to explore such a unique path in todays world.
Love
Mike

heymagic said...

Hi,
I saw the Wife Swap show. I really admire you for what you have chosen to do.
I am a 66 year old husband of 47 years, father of 3, grandfather of 6. I have never been a big fan of public school, homework, time away from family, etc.
The more I have seen of this world, the more my being tells me that what we do in this country is wrong and broken. I am not saying it would be impossible to have schools that provide a place for willing participants to gather to learn. I just have not really seen it. I have made plenty of mistakes and I am still making them, but I know that having children is amazing, and every opportunity to spend time with them is a gift.
I have some younger sailing friends, who with their two children, Ouest (3) and Lowe (1) , live on a sailboat in Mexico. They are Bumfuzzle.com. Soon they will have to wrestle with the question that brings cruising families to shore, "What about school"? It is a tough question to wrestle with in a world of social pressure.
The only thing I wonder about in your family, is the reading. I talked to my kids at a young age about all the amazing adventures the could read about to amplify there own imagination. If they were interested, I taught them phonics with the emphasis on fun and laughter as we sounded out those words. I might have missed what you do about that, but I did not miss how eager that little girl was to show you her"crafts" , and what an amazing, loving, time that was to witness.
I hope you and your family continue to explore such a unique path in todays world.
Love
Mike

Sara said...

This is wonderful and eye opening. Thank you.

Bleeding Heart Anarchist said...

I want to reply to Anonymous about safety and control of young children. I would agree that this is difficult when they are very young, especially if you're caring for both of them by yourself. I think some gentle coercion and control is necessary at times. I would not make the child "wrong" for being frustrated or angry about it, but let them express those feelings and be sympathetic. Is there a special treat you can associate with being in the car seat? A really awesome toy that could stay in the car? Do you have a minivan with a movie screen? Could you negotiate with the older child about playing in the back for a while - do something special with him afterwards? It might seem like manipulation, but it's better than just demanding obedience or being unsafe.

Do you know any homeschoolers or unschoolers nearby with older children? When my child was those ages, I was working at home, and I hired homeschooling girls to play with her while I worked. A young mother's helper can become a loved and trusted babysitter a few years later.

Amanda Page said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I agree, generally. Also, a great number of teenagers can't stand school these days, and
it is certainly driving them to be miserable.

I've truly noticed a lot of depressing accounts.

Why should these people keep on being depressed while plenty of possible choices already exist?
But instead, they are simply bound to continue on struggling.



It is extremely awful - and I wish way more parents would fully grasp this!


my webpage: i'm always depressed during school [ihateschool.hpage.com]

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