I saw this on my facebook timeline and felt that I had to write a post about it. We used to run a very authoritarian household here. My kids had their life scheduled out from 6am to 8pm, I guess in between too, because I told them they had to sleep during that time. The kids were to follow my every wish, take the path chosen for them and if they had leftover time, they could do what they wanted…..within limits and permissions of course. My kids were miserable, and acted out quite often. Who could blame them!?
Why did they have to wear the button down shirt with a collar to school? (See answer #9) Their school didn’t have a uniform and Johnny’s parents let them wear a t-shirt. (See answer #5) Well, he gets to wear a t-shirt and I don’t that’s not fair! (See answer #8) But, come on!? (See answer #4, insert word “no”) (See answer #3) and so on…..pretty much every morning. We were all sorts of stressed, but that’s life, and life’s not fair! WHY IS LIFE NOT FAIR!? Because we (as a whole) don’t want it to be. Life SHOULD be fair! And we can do our part to help make it a bit more fair. We can vote out the unfairness, be better people to everyone, especially those living under the same roof as us.
As we made the switch (albeit slow) to Peaceful Parenting, I realized that I wasn’t a parent of 6, I was a Drill Sergeant to a small army who would do as I say, when I say it and not complain, or else risk the butt spank…..or worse, removal of personal property, such as toys, games, bedroom doors…… Why was any of this needed? If my husband wanted to wear a t-shirt instead of a button down collar shirt, would I tell him to change immediately “or else”? No, I’d let him wear what he wanted to without a second thought. If my friend wanted to stay up until 10pm, would I scold her and tell her to get in her bed, with the lights off, no later than 8pm “or else”? No, I wouldn’t even think to tell her what time to sleep, that’s her choice and she’d sleep when she was tired. I realised that anytime my kids would fight, I would throw the “Golden Rule” around “Treat others as you wish to be treated”, but I was NOT treating them how I wished to be treated. I thought I was molding them into proper adults, but it was MY definition of what a “proper adult” should be, not theirs.
We have moved forward even more and took our kids home from public school, to allow them more freedoms to pursue their passions. We have decided that Whole Life Unschooling was the right decision for us, because it will allow our children to learn what they need and want, in their own time, at their own pace, and not have to be part of some “Common Core” community. Since making the switch, the above answers still pop into my head sometimes, but I ask myself how i can make them peaceful, and meaningful, instead of snarky, rude and all about me.
I challenge you all to make the switch from the answers above, to the questions and phrases below.