Friday, February 22, 2008

Rules, punishment, Christianity, unschooling...

Obviously I don't know what to call this post, I have thoughts spurred from a recent exchange on a yahoo group. I admit to skimming and not fully reading but I pretty much do that anyway, it's how I read.

There are no rules and punishments in my house, there is not top down authoritarian parenting. We advocate respect and safety, we talk, we model, we live, one person's freedom ends where another begins, we must have respect in the house. This is something that takes time and effort from parents to model for their kids, you can't expect what you don't give. You also need to realize that it is a process just like everything else, modeling and discussing are high on the list.

I am a Christian because I believe in God, I believe that Jesus is his son who walked on this earth as a perfect man. I do not believe in churchianity, I do not believe in obedience out of fear, I do not believe in arbitrary rules and thou shalt nots and punishment. I choose to believe, I choose to have faith, I choose to be responsible because it's the right thing to do. I do not do it out of fear of eternal damnation.

I want my kids to act out of the sheer fact that it's kind and right and respectful not because they are afraid of what I will do to them if they don't, or worse what God will do.

Parenting based on fear and punishment is flawed at best and it sets up an adversarial relationship with our kids.

There is no *getting in trouble* if anyone does something *wrong* we talk about it, we work out the problem. We talk about so many things all of the time, we do not parent out of fear and we do not instill fear in our kids. I do not train my children either they are not animals they are people, I guide,model, respect, discuss, and facilitate and pray a lot. Heck even our dogs are unschooled... They are free in the boundaries of our property, they aren't beaten or punished, they are animals, how could I treat my child less...

Society is full of laws and rules, why do we need them in our homes? We sure don't, we should be free in our own homes. Naysayers might say how could someone raised without rules obey the laws of the land?

Well it is called modeling and discussing and learning about our world. My kids know about laws and rules they just don't have extra ones at home. For what it's worth sometimes laws are stupid and I do break them, am I some bad influence? NO! I am a person with a brain that does not mindlessly follow anyone. If I drive fast and get caught I pay the consequence, it's really that simple. Although ya'll know I am against speed limits and drinking ages and homeschool laws and anything that takes away civil liberty and personal freedom and responsibility for one's actions.

As unschoolers who live and learn in freedom without the confines of school we parent the same way, we live and breathe freedom. We advocate responsibility and respect for each other and for this world that God gave us.


justjuls said...

This is great -
The hardest part is that parenting this way takes a lot more effort. It is easier to treat children like non-people so we can issue an edict and walk away.
Thanks for the reminder that I want to consciously choose to live this way -

Tina said...

I agree with jewls and you. Unschooling equates respect with a capital R. Nothing else suffices

Penny said...

Yep, yep, yep. I even had my son sit and read it - told him that's why we do what we do. You just put it together very well.

Anonymous said...

Hey Stephanie,

How cool is it that stuff I posted on a yahoo group that got a few people pretty riled up, resulted in you posting this brilliant blog that puts it all so succinctly. Great to read it all written out so well. And a timely reminder that this lifestyle is worth the effort - every bit of it. Thanks!!


Anonymous said...

Stephanie, that has to be one of your most beautiful posts yet. You hit everything so right on.

Oh yeah, and thanks for the different print color. I love ya!


Tara W. said...

Churchianity! Classic! I think it's my new fave word. LOL Anyway, thanks for your comment on my blog...seems we have a bunch in common. ;-)