There is a lot of talk of trust in unschooling circles-particularly in the radical unschooling ones-which is awesome. We should trust our kids, I absolutely agree with this-but with how much? It seems that parents being able to trust their instincts is often overlooked and we might ask too much of our children.
Some parents trust their children and may even trust an author or a forum before they will trust themselves. I read and see a lot of parents trusting their instincts less in the name of trusting their children more. Is this a good thing? I'm not sure that it is.
I know this is going to be controversial to some but there is probably good reason you feel awfully uncomfortable as you try and trust your child to self regulate things that we as adults can struggle with. The two most controversial and debated over topics on radical unschooling chat, forums and blogs is probably television and food. It seems to be the "last hurdle" for many to let go of before being able to call themselves radical unschoolers. I've had many chats with other parents who feel so torn with these particular subjects, they feel like their gut is telling them one thing yet by trusting their instincts they are not trusting their child.
For many the argument is things that are natural to children such as sleep, play, learning, exploring and real food are easily trusted in the hands of their children. Things that are not natural to their children such as television, computers (inc games) and processed food are designed to be addictive and by asking our children to self regulate we are asking too much. This does not always mean blanket bans but when a parent gets that feeling in their gut that their child is having trouble self regulating then they can step in.
So do we trust these feelings or do we try and work through them? Are we asking too much? Do we not give our children enough credit?
I don't think it has to be all or nothing. It's good grow and learn as a parent but I think, and it's just my opinion, that it's OK to trust yourself as well. Thoughts?
I'm joining in with Unschool Monday with Owlet.