I learned of the idea of Unschooling/Radical Unschooling about six months ago. Some days I think I am getting it and then other days I feel like I am ruining my children! I totally get the "school" part of Unschooling. I was a teacher and I have always known I didn't want my chilren to go to PS, so that part is pretty easy. My main problems are with the parenting part.
I have three girls (4 1/2, 2 1/2, 1). We have always been pretty laid back parents, but we did have rules and we used timeout with them. Well, that has all changed since we have discovered RU. We no longer have a bedtime, which was REALLY hard at first, but now seems natural. We haven't used timeout in months.
I feel like my kids have become more disresepctful than they were before. My 2 1/2 year old has started hitting, kicking and I just say, "We don't hit." Tonight she pushed the baby down just out of the blue for no reason, and I really didn't know what to do. I really feel helpless at times because I don't know how to make her understand not to do the things she is doing without punishing her (timeout).
Tonight I was talking to my mom on the phone and she told me she was worried about my kids because they aren't held accountable for their actions and they have no responsibility. I really didn't know what to say, it just makes me question my parenting and wonder what I am doing wrong. My girls stayed the weekend with her last weekend and she said my four year old wanted to take a bath after playing outside and she just threw her clothes in the floor and said, "My mommy and daddy let me throw my clothes where ever I want to." My mom told her that her mommy and daddy weren't there and would she please pick up the clothes and put them where they go. She said she complained about it, but she did pick them up. That has made me question the fact that I don't make them clean up. I read on one of the RU lists I am on that the mess is my problem if it bothers me, and that made sense to me, so if something is in the floor I just pick it up instead of making it a big deal.
My mom and I started talking about my 2yr old and her hitting and she said my 4 yr old went to timeout when she was little and the 2yr old doesn't know what timeout is, so maybe that is the problem. I am not confident enough in my parenting to defend it I just start questioning everything.
I really need some advice!! THANKS to anyone who made it through this whole rambling post and I appreciate any advice you have.