Yes it is tea time once again for this mama. Tea time is time I have set aside for myself to do “a little reading”. I want to mention that tea time for me is *not* “me time”. As a unschooling parent I never know when I may get time to myself. See usually I am helping someone find glue or spelling out a word or helping work a puzzle or playing a game, okay you get the point. So when a time comes that everyone is off doing their own thing (it does happen the older they get 🙂 ) I decide to make myself a nice cup of herbal tea and catch up on my reading.
I know most of these links can be found pretty easily and may even be repeating to some readers but I like to share pages or videos that I come across that really help guide me to be a more mindful parent or helped me gain confidence toward unschooling.
Todays reading comes yet again from Sandra Dodd. Yes there are many other wonderful writers who I have also learned SO much from but I figure those who are truly curious and want to learn more about radical unschooling will find them by following the Sandra Dodd trails, I did. 🙂
The reason I started researching radical unschooling in the first place was because even though we had been homeschooling for a while and even though when we first started out everything was great, as the girls started to get older things started to change. Miss Sky became more vocal about her likes and dislikes and Little Sis just didn’t fit the bill for Waldorf education at all. If I had stayed on that path against both of the girls wills I would probably be knee-deep in preteen rebellion and Little Sis would just *now* be learning her ABCs. Yes I am SO glad to have found radical unschooling, it was hard enough for me to write that let alone think of everything the girls would not have learned.
It is one thing if a child truly is not ready to learn to read yet, Miss Sky was a later learner that is why Waldorf education was perfect for her in the beginning. However to hold someone back on purpose in my opinion is a real disservice to the child. It does not allow them to be who they were born to be. There is no whip cracking here, no one forcing someone to learn their ABCs or how to add (even though you can not force anyone to learn anything anyway). Everyone in this household learns because they *choose* to.
As the girls started to change so did I. Instead of being the girls partner in life, like I always wanted to be from the very beginning before they were even born, I became their adversary. The older they got the more I had to control, so I had thought. The more I had to control the more they wanted to rebel and the more they wanted to rebel the more I yelled and punished. It really is an awful cycle. I didn’t like the b**ch (it really is true) I had become. That is when I read something that changed everything.
“If you eliminate “have to” from your thoughts, it’s like driving a nice standard
transmission rather than riding in the back of a crowded bus. If you see
everything as a conscious choice, suddenly you are where you have chosen to be
(or else you have a clear path to moving toward where you would rather be).”
I realized I *chose* to be a b**ch. No one made me but me. I also realized I could choose not to be one anymore. In order for this to work every time I got ready to yell I made a choice that took me closer to the parent I wanted to become. Instead of yelling I walked into the bedroom and took a deep breath. While in there I thought about what it was I was SO upset about. Spilled milk? Was it an accident? I will say it was *always* over something stupid. Even if it was a broken window, the window was broken and I still needed to replace it whether I yell or not. Yelling does not solve the problem.
Once I had a clear picture of what I really was upset over, like not having the money to replace a window, instead of yelling I became honest. Once I became honest the girls let their guard down and wanted to help come up with a solution. The more choices I made toward being the girls partner the closer I came to being the parent I always wanted.
It has been almost 2 years now since I have yelled at my kids. It saddens me to even think that I did at one time. Becoming a more mindful parent is a choice. It is your choice whether or not you want to change.
The above quote came from here.
Once I changed my “have to” to choose to my path became a lot clearer. The girls have been given the gift of choice now. They realize now that everything they do is their choice. This is why unschoolers have a much better experience in school or college, they are not there against their will but instead because they choose to be.
Peace for the journey.