Meet Tanya and her 16-year-old son, Gavin. They started their schooling journey with public school because “that’s what you’re supposed to do.” As a family with a value on schooling through travel and experiences, they realized public school wasn’t really a good fit for their family. After a short time of schooling at home, they discovered that unschooling was a good fit for their family. This is their story.
Comment from reader: I would love to have meetings in my community where parents can gather together to support each other in their consciously parenting efforts and even to offer information and guidance to parents who feel that things just aren’t going the way they had hoped.
We all grew up in the Old Story of parenting where love, respect and boundaries all had different meanings than the ones we’re trying to create for our own families and our own children. As we work to do things differently, we often get caught up in the Old Story that we don’t even know we’re telling ourselves and are recreating in our families. It takes becoming more conscious of this old story so that you can release it and embrace the New Story you’re co-creating with your family.
At one time or another, we’ll all probably experience something big in our lives, whether it is a hurricane, another natural disaster, or something else that wasn’t expected. We don’t have to wait until our children show signs of distress to try to help them. There’s so much we can do as things are happening and immediately after to lessen the impact of those experiences.
How can you help your kids through a hurricane? What can you do in anticipation of the storm, and what can you do once it’s over to make sure your kids (and you) are moving through it in an emotionally healthy way? Read on. I’ve got some important things to share with you that aren’t Read More
What are the origins of your concepts of love and respect? Can you separate the way you desire to parent from unhelpful past models? Much of traditional parenting rests on a hierarchy of power and control. Love is a reward, based on meeting certain conditions. Respect is born of fear. If children fear their parents, they will respect them and obey them, hoping to earn their love by meeting their parent’s conditions.
When we tell our children and others what they need to do specifically, we take away the ability for the other person to see alternative solutions to problems. We also miss the opportunity of connecting through understanding the needs of another person, taking everyone’s needs into account when children are developmentally ready to do so.
Toddlers aren’t the only ones who have emotional upsets. A big misconception I hear on a regular basis is that parents don’t need to talk about tantrums and emotional upsets because they don’t have a toddler anymore. “We’re past that phase.” This means that their kids are probably no longer throwing themselves on the floor Read More
How can you include individual perspectives, personalities, learning styles, preferences, and aptitudes in open and respectful family discussions about learning environments? Begin with trust – in yourself and your intuition, in your children and their uniqueness, in your relationship, and in the wide array of learning options you can uncover if you keep an open mind.
I believe that we all do the best we can every moment. Love and forgive yourself for not being able to always see that. Love and forgive your children, too. And see what happens in your family life when you shift this one simple thing.
When we recognize that our children have reasons for those upsets (even if we don’t really get it), it gives us the opportunity to connect and actually help make it better this time, and the next time, too. Learning the skills to regulate and create more connection in the moment helps everyone to feel better, no matter how old we are and no matter what we call it.
How do you know when it’s time to leap into the unknown and take a new educational path? Can happiness really be the touchstone we turn to when making family decisions?