Re: Does Radical Unschooling always result in "Good" children?

Joyce Fetteroll

On Dec 28, 2009, at 8:54 PM, shirarocklin wrote:

So, I'm curious. Are there any Radically Unschooled children, who have grown up, who are not 'good' people? Who cheat, steal, treat people badly, lie, etc...?
If someone says they've radically unschooled, have they really?

While it's fairly easy to grasp what to let go of to radically unschool, one of the biggest stumbling blocks is understanding what to replace it with. Someone who says they're radically unschooling could have let go, but not done the replacing. They could be unparenting.

Another stumbling block is a parent who doesn't "get" their kid and can't figure out how to help them.

And there are other factors: bad biochemistry. Abuse. Divorce (not merely the act itself, but everything around it: parents tearing at each other, the idea that love isn't unconditional, kids feeling guilty or abandoned).

Which all sounds like words to cover unschooling's ass ;-)

The actions you've listed are all strategies to get what someone wants. So the big question is why would someone adopt those strategies that hurt people when there are strategies that can help them get what they want without hurting others?

There are understandable reasons! If a child feels he can't get what he wants except on his own, cheating and stealing and so on can be good strategies. If the child feels like the people around him put their own agendas ahead of his, if they've shown they aren't to be trusted to help, if they've shown they don't respect him, why would he care to put in the effort not to hurt them?

If a child knows the parents objective is to help him get what he wants, if the parent is offering strategies that are kind and safe, then the parent is creating an environment where cheating, stealing, etc aren't advantageous.

Being what the parent thinks is trustworthy and respectful isn't enough. The parent needs to direct trustworthiness and respect to the child. The child needs to feel the parent trusts and respects who they are. The child needs to trust the parent is someone who wants to help them.

It's not a straight cut path to lying and stealing prevention ;-) Asking how to prevent kids from lying is sort of like asking how to get a steeple bell 50 feet into the air. The answer begins with building a foundation on the ground which hardly sounds like a way to get something into the air ;-)


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