We are a Radical Unschooling family—
Children are People, who deserve to be given care, respect, guidance, support, and connection.
Children’s opinions and feelings are valid and valuable.
One of children’s main purposes is to PLAY and be celebrated and supported in their play.
Play is one bold way for them to explore themselves and their world and play is an optimal path to learning.
All forms of play are valid and valuable–
We believe children should be allowed to live in the time and place in which they were born and use the tools available to them to learn about themselves and their world–this includes tablets, smartphones, computers, TVs, the internet, gaming consoles, etc…as well as blocks, puzzles, books, art supplies–whether digital or non-digital—all are valid, all are valuable!
We believe children learn how to make the best decisions for themselves by making decisions for themselves over and over and feeling out how those decisions feel, not by obeying the decisions dictated by others.
It is a lifelong process of getting to know yourself well enough to make decisions that are right for YOU–let’s support our children in exploring that process for themselves from day one! It is such an incredible life-skill to have: to know yourself and make your life choices accordingly.
It is NOT that we neglect them to let them do as they please. It is that we partner with them to help them find the best way to do the things that are important to them. We offer guidance, support, suggestions, tools, options, choices, lots of helping hands, and conversations–we create a safe and caring environment where real choice and real support are available to children.
We believe in the power of Joy, in doing what you Love, in relaxing and spending your life energy focused on things that make you happy and that you enJoy doing. Joy, having fun, relaxing and being together are valid and valuable ways of being.
We practice partnership parenting. Golden-rule parenting: if you wouldn’t want your spouse or someone else close to you to treat you the way you are treating your children, treat them another way. Treat them as you would like to be treated.
It would be considered controlling and abusive if my partner was always telling me what to eat and how much and when I could move on to eating something else. Or telling me to stop whatever what I was doing because it was time to go to bed or leave the house “because I said so.” I would shut that person out and break off that partnership as soon as I could! Why would I want to treat my children that way? Why would I give my children that experience as their formative example of what it is to be in a close relationship?
Children are people. Full stop.
I believe someday it will be as archaic to say that “children need to be told what do because they don’t know any better” as it is to say women need to be told what to do by men because they are incapable of knowing what is best for themselves.
How did I come to this path of parenting? By feeling out what I did NOT want to be.
By feeling the conflict, anger, and power-struggles involved when trying to control another person who did NOT want to be controlled. By hating the person I would become when trying to control another. By seeing the deeply negative affects on my relationship with my children when control and power-struggles were happening. By feeling the pain of neglecting the core of connection and LOVE that I naturally have with my children in order to try and get them to do the things I thought they “should” be doing or not doing.
And by feeling, within myself, the discomfort of what a life can feel like when lived according to “shoulds.” By feeling the separation I had from mySelf—separation caused by making decisions and taking actions according to what would please another (parent, teacher, societal expectations, etc), rather than making decisions that were based in the inherent Joy and Freedom of who I AM at my core. This is an ongoing learning and fine-tuning process for me.
So yes. I want to give my children the opportunity to stay connected to their core Being-ness as much as possible. To connect to and discover their Passions, their interests, their own self-directed dance with life. This is what is most important for the spirit of any person. What we are all longing to reconnect with as adults. My hope is to offer the least amount of interference possible in my children’s connection with themselves, with their own life energy, with their own expression and exploration of who they really are.
It doesn’t always look picture perfect, certainly not! And this way of parenting doesn’t guarantee picture-perfect results. But it is a way of life that allows for more respect, connection, trust, and love as a family.
Children are people. They may be physically smaller and physically weaker than the grown-up version, they may have less life experience, but they have full, whole, beautiful spirits that we need to honor and support and celebrate! Spirits that deserve to be given the freedom to explore this great canvas of life.
How lucky we are, as their parents, to be in the position to offer them that. To be in the position to cherish them, support their full vibrant selves, and as we offer that to them, to learn to offer it to ourselves as well.
They are here to guide us, if we are open to receiving it. These whole, beautiful, bright people: our children.