Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Rules are made to be broken.

I know that our society has to have laws or else there would be chaos because parents haven't done their job on modeling respect and responsibility, but the schools have done their job in creating people who need to be told what to do and how to think.

Household rules are set for the convenience of the parent, so they don't have to get involved with their child. They just make up rules and punishments and dole it out as needed. While this is the easy way out, it isn't the best way or the most productive. Well it depends what you want, if your goal is obedience and no involvement then by all means make up stupid rules.

Your rules don't count at my house so check them at the door. Do not come to my house and impose your rules on your children and expect me to enforce them.

If I come to your house I will respect your rules but if the are totally asanine and infringe on me and my kids then I guess we won't be coming back very often, if at all.

In my house we foster respect and safety, not rules, punishments and rewards. I see too many kids afraid to be kids, who don't want to go home, home isn't fun. I know that kids act different in my house, they are relaxed and free. I lived the life of the kid who didn't want to be home I don't ever want my kids to be like that.

I really believe that being the authoritarian, do as I say or get punished kind of parent is not right, it's just plain wrong, in my opinion.
We need to talk about things and work them out, making blanket rules for all to follow is ridiculous.

I also believe that making laws because a few people are screw ups is ridiculous too, it's only the honest law abiding people who suffer. I won't go into my thoughts on speed limits, drinking ages, health care, welfare, or big brother telling me how to educate my kids... Well I might I can't promise anything :)

I see many posts on lists where parents want to unschool but really haven't deschooled. They want to give their kids freedom but control them with limits. Make up your mind, unschooling is freeing your mind from the BS you have been fed, it takes time to get over the BS and move on. Don't lay the same line of crap on your kids, give them something better, give them freedom to learn in their way and in their time.

Some people think they can *unschool* but then control everything else like video games and sleeping habits and tv and when to do what. I think you are really holding back and limiting your child's potential to learn from any and every source by putting restrictions on them. I am talking about artificial ones, not ones bound by the realities of each family unit.

I'll probably never be done with this subject but I'm done for now...


justjuls said...

It does take time to let go of the BS! Sometimes it tries to creep back into mine.

About the rules - I had a friend once who didn't let her kids play with play dough other than using only one color at a time. I mean how creative can you be with only one color?? But that was her rule - and she also exerted it over the preschool classes at church since she was in charge there. Anyway - her daughter came over for a playdate with my son and we got out the playdough. I pulled out all the cans and dumped out colors and some that was already mixed into those nice swirly patterns. The little girl asked me if she could "mix" the play dough. I said she most certainly could - to her little heart's delight. She sat there to my son's dismay and could not do anything but mix colors for a half an hour or more. Unfortunately her mother got there to pick her up and saw what she was doing and scolded her for doing something she wasn't allowed to do. I never got it. It is still one of those things that bugs me to this day that I didn't stand up for her more. I did say, 'It's my play dough and I don't mind." But the mother was adamant that this child had broken "her rule".

Jenny said...

Stephanie, you crack me up! Let it rip, girl!

We were at a Halloween Party last night and they were giving the kids Halloween tatoos. One girl about three was crying and the mom threatened to leave the party if she didn't stop crying.

Turned out the girl wanted a tatoo and was crying because her mother wouldn't let her have one. The mother actually said, "You can't have one, because I'd have to wash it off when we get home, and I don't want to do that."


Jenny Cyphers said...

I recently found a local unschooling list and this subject came up. I wrote a lot of stuff about no rules and free access to video games. Lo and behold, if I hadn't stumbled across some very interesting psuedo unschoolers. I thought that I'd get a lot of positive affirmative feedback from my posts.

Crazy as it is, these folks were saying it was cool to limit their children based on their own comfort zone and still unschool and have great, connected relationships with their children!

There were some people saying "yes" and "right on", so it wasn't everyone. It was surprising really! I received a few private emails saying that I was right on spot, I just wish they'd said it on the message board! One person that did speak up in agreement with me, told me privately that we'd stumbled across some alterna-hippies. I thought that was a good way to describe them.

Oh well... we can only change the world one kid at a time I guess! I know my kids would never grow up to do that to their own kids! I think we are making the world a better place one little person at a time and that's really cool!

Grace Walker said...

What a great post! I hope you do go into your thoughts on speed limits and the other things you mentioned. I would love to read what you have to share.

The irony for me is that I'm learning these things when my daughter is already past the age of 17 but I guess that's why this is called "life learning" huh? :o)