Re: Moving from rules to principles

Pam Sorooshian

Maybe talk about them only as they come up. If you have a rule about eating
only at the dining table, you could suggest: "You could take your sandwich
to eat in the living room if you want." If she says, "What about the rule?"
then you can say, "It's okay - we can be flexible."

I wouldn't ever say, "No more rules," because it is confusing to the child
- there really will still be rules in her life, lots of them. What you're
going to be doing is looking at rules more sensibly and being flexible and
not having rules just for the sake of having a rule.

Sometimes rules are for convenience of parents so they don't have to spend
so much time talking about options, etc. One mom I know said she would
absolutely not let her 12 year old watch a PG-13 movie, no matter if she
actually thought the movie was fine, because then her son would argue with
her over every other PG-13 movie. I think a lot of rules are imposed
because parents feel overwhelmed and busy and don't want to spend their
time working with kids on these kinds of choices. I get that.

And I think unschooling families DO have rules for convenience even if they
don't call them rules. They aren't rules for the sake of control and they
aren't enforced with the threat of punishment, they are more like, "This is
how we do this in our family." And usually always open to questioning. So -
my kids didn't eat food in their bedrooms because we just didn't eat food
in bedrooms. Why? Because we had really big ant invasion problems and
nobody would have liked sleeping in a bed with ants. When they were little
I'd just say, "Eat it out here, not in the bedroom," and probably sit to
chat with them or turn on the tv or something to make it more fun. They
weren't kids who had experienced arbitrary rules so they were pretty much
willing to go along with clear requests like that. There were a few times i
can recall that a kid really wanted to eat in her room. I'd put the food on
a big tray and remind her not to let the crumbs or drips get anywhere but
on the tray. I'd go in and get the remains of the food right away when she
finished. It wasn't a big deal - wasn't "breaking a rule" in the bad sense,
it was making an exception to the more convenient way we usually did things.

So - make exceptions, be more flexible, stop talking about rules and
breaking rules with regard to things that are really just ways of living.
If she asks about a specific rule you could say, "Yeah, guess we don't
exactly have that rule anymore."


On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 10:58 AM, trish52101 <>wrote:

I would be afraid to speed unless they explicitly said, "its okay to use
your judgment to drive at what you consider a safe speed."

Join to automatically receive all group messages.