My unschooling journey (because let's be honest, I am the one being unschooled) is seeming to develop phases. There was the "I'm so angry at the system!" phase, then the "settling in" phase, and now I'm entering into the phase where I really appreciate how difficult parenting is.
Don't get me wrong, parenting was difficult for the 8 years before now too. Yes, things have gotten easier in a sense,
now that we're parenting peacefully and learning naturally. But even
with all the peaceful parenting tools I've armed myself with, even with
all the books I've devoured, even with all the support I find from other
families, our family dynamics are still not sunshine and rainbows.
This parenting paradigm doesn't magically make life perfect. The kids
still do things that drive me nuts, we still fight, doors still slam. At
times it is much more difficult for me to take that deep breath and
work out the issue than to raise my voice or spout off threats. Even
though I slip up at times, I know I will never stop striving to be more
peaceful. While it may be difficult and doesn't magically make things
perfect, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the frequency of fights and
arguments. Even when I know I didn't get things quite right, I don't
end up with the pit in my stomach that yelling, spanking, and punishing
gave me. There is still love and understanding in our relationships,
even when momentarily clouded by frustration or anger.
Parenting peacefully may be difficult in the here and now, but I can
feel and I know that it is helping me foster a lifelong loving
respectful relationship with my children. I am more than willing to put
in the time now to have that relationship with them later.