So, we unschool. It’s a pretty simple concept…pretty much everything we do is Becca-led learning. But we’ve encountered MANY parents who seem to take the “unparenting” approach to child-rearing. You’ve seen it, I’m sure. You’re in a restaurant. YOUR child is sitting quietly, coloring on the placemat, or playing with the toys that you brought for her. But then there’s the child, running wild, tripping up the waitress, and hanging off the light fixtures… (OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit.)
We seem to see some of this in the homeschooling world as well. The parents who are afraid (or just hesitant) to correct their child. I once had a friend tell me, “We don’t like to use the word NO in our house.” Wow. Really?
I’m sure there’s a child psychologist out there, somewhere, rolling in their grave.
In the homeschool world, this approach can be devastating. Even if you’re an unschooler, kids still need attention. And guidance. They need help making the right decisions.
I’m all about letting a child take charge of their lives. But even a teen like Becca, who knows her mind (and speaks it…almost too often), needs supervision and guidance. (AND, that dreaded word, discipline…)
But the word discipline is all too often associated with negative connotations. No, Becca was never spanked…and we’re really not yellers over here (though we ARE loud at times). But discipline (to me, anyway) means reinforcement, correction and guidance.
There are rules out there, that we are all expected to follow. (Traffic rules, local and national policies and laws, etc.) It’s great to let your child know their own mind. But they also have to know that we live in a society of rules that must be followed, no exceptions. And what better place to start learning this, than in the home?