Welcome to my life. It's a whirlwind of kids, chaos, pets, people, family, art, and being home (most of the time; I like to get out here and there). We unschool, so the unexpected is, well, expected...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Unschooling is: post # 2

Unschooling is seeing children as real people. It's seeing teenagers as real people. If a parent can take the idea of that real person right in front of them and see their ideas and insight as valid, then they'll be one step closer to truly respecting their children.

There is a shift that happens when a parent is down this path of unschooling, where the comments of more traditional parenting appears loud and glaring and dismissive.

What prompted this thought was a parent of a teen seeing their child's very real thoughts as stemming from being a hormonal, rock and roll, typical teenager. If a man were to see his wife in the exact same way, she'd likely feel dismissed, whether she was hormonal, into rock and roll, a typical woman, or not. Why is it different for kids?

What I've found, is that the more I examine how I view my children, the more my language changes when I write or talk about them, or to them. If one of my children came to me with a very serious, to them, issue, and I decided that they were too young to know better, too hormonal, or just being a typical kid, the advice I gave them may be dismissed. They may learn this sort of behavior and dismiss my thoughts, as the parent, because I'm too old to relate or really understand, as I've proven through my actions and words.

This is the sort of thinking that drives kids to their peers. Peers can understand and relate to each other and tend not to be dismissive because they KNOW how big it is to feel these things, these big, natural, life things. An unschooling parent is someone who is their child's partner, someone they can truly come to with ideas, problems, and issues, and feel really heard and understood as a REAL person with REAL thoughts.

It's not something that I ever expected to come out of unschooling. Yet, for unschooling to really work well, a parent really needs to see the world through the eyes of their child.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Right on Jenny!