Our Family's Journey to Peaceful Parenting and Unschooling.
Monday, August 19, 2013
How Does Our Parenting Affect Our Children?
goal in raising our children the way we do- without coercion, without
punishments, without schooling- is ultimately for them to be able to
lead happy, healthy lives. I hope, among other things, they are able to
work well with other people and have healthy, meaningful relationships.
This is why we put a lot of emphasis on communication skills, being free
and able to express thoughts and feelings, property rights, and negotiations. I know we're not nearly perfect at it, but we try.
We're the only family in the neighborhood who parents this way. I
couldn't tell you what exactly the other parents think of Josh (8y)
while he's playing at their houses, but I can give you some examples of
what I observe when their kids come over here.
Neighbor Kid is made to share all his toys when people come over, and
house rules to not apply to, or at least are much more flexible for,
guests. He comes to our house and demands to play with anything he
wants. He becomes very upset when he doesn't get what he wants, and
threatens to break other toys unless given what he demands. He slams
doors, jumps on our furniture, throws things, etc.
Neighbor Kid is spanked or yelled at as discipline, and "talking back"
isn't allowed. When faced with any minute amount of conflict, Kid shuts
down and shuffles over to me expecting me to resolve the situation. I
ask questions but can't hardly understand his answers because he speaks
so softly and mumbles. Even in the absence of conflict, he shrinks away
if Papa or I try to talk to him.
Situation III- Set of
three Neighbor Kid brothers are kept on a tight leash. Just about every
single thing they do has to be approved by Mom or Dad. They come to play
and ask me to text their mom to ask- if they can drink our water, if
they can eat pickles, if they can ride our scooters, if they can watch
certain movies, if their youngest brother can use our restroom...
Two Neighbor Kid brothers live in a house where yelling comes first
and questions are asked later, if at all. There is a mix up of which
water bottle belongs to whom, and World War III breaks out in my garage.
Now, I'm not saying the method of parenting is the direct
cause of how these situations played out, but I think it is a
contributing factor. Nor am I saying Josh never acts like this when he's
at other people's houses. I'm simply asking that we all question how
our parenting methods and the problem solving skills we model to our
children affect how they interact with other people when we're not
around, and are these affects to the benefit of our children?