the network for radical unschooling families
I want to share some important things.
1) Deb Lewis is a really great thinker and writer.
2) Deb Lewis will be at the ALL Unschooling Symposium in Albuquerque this December.
3) Deb Lewis wrote this earlier today and it is really, really wonderful:
In response to a mom advocating limits and control:
Maybe it would help to consider these things in very basic terms. Are there ways of living with people that can make life better, happier, more peaceful? Are there ways of living that can make life worse? Doesn’t it make sense to choose to live together in a way that will make life better? Most people want to be treated with consideration, patience, kindness and respect. Children don’t deserve less consideration just because they’re small. They deserve *more* patience and kindness and consideration because they are young and still learning.
If you want a happy partnership does it make sense to be the worst kind of partner? If you take away belongings, or throw someone’s possessions in the garbage, if you refuse to cook in order to manipulate another person, are you being a good partner? How will a child learn to be a good partner from a terrible example? Wouldn’t you want a helpful partner, a kind partner, one who is patient with you, makes life seem better and more fun? Be the kind of partner you would like to have.
It’s unrealistic of you to expect your child to be an adult with all the concerns and priorities adults have. She shouldn’t have to, for one, and she’s not yet ready to. If a clean house is important to you then *you* clean the house. Think of it as a gift you can give to your child that will contribute to her health and convenience. It’s part of what a parent *should* provide for a child. Shelter doesn’t only mean a roof; it means a safe place of peace and healthfulness.
If you could not have both or if it was rare to have both, consider which would be more important, having your daughter’s help with housework or having a warm and loving relationship with her. Which will serve her better? Children who do not have a loving connection with parents *will* look for one elsewhere. They may find it with people who don’t have their best interest at heart.
If you have been fighting over chores it may be a long time before she feels like helping you. But for the rest of the time you have with her, you can be a good example of a person who happily takes care of her home and who respects and values her child above housework. That will have benefits for your child well beyond required chores.
If your daughter doesn’t want to leave something interesting to go to the table to eat, take food to her. Sit with her and eat together. That’s the same kind of sharing you could do at a table. Food eaten in front of the TV or computer with a happy mom who is interested in you is much better than food shared in grudging silence and anger. Wouldn’t you be grateful to a friend who brought you food if you were in the middle of something important? I’m always grateful when my husband brings home a pizza or Chinese food when I’m having a really busy day.
Get another computer as soon as you can. If you had only one plate wouldn’t you get another? If you had only one chair, wouldn’t you get another? Don’t fight over life’s conveniences. What a terrible waste of time.
That was Deb Lewis.
This is Sandra again.
I did mention she's a great writer, and she'll be in Albuquerque, right? :-)