Thursday, June 16, 2022

Slowly and sweetly

Sudden change confuses kids, they don't trust it, they assume it's temporary, and so their behavior reflects that. And it robs parents of the joy of gradually allowing more and more, as the parents learn more and more. You could have said "okay" and "sure" hundreds of times instead of "whatever you want" one time, and the gradual change would have been a joy.
photo by Karen James

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Be a soft place

We wanted to protect them from trauma and frustration. That's not always possible, but it was a goal. We tried not to be the source of trauma and frustration.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Patient and loving

Radical unschooling works the same way for every child. Pay attention to what he's interested in. Don't force things. Find interesting items and situations, be patient and loving, and learning will happen. The more it happens, the more it will continue to happen.

Learning will happen
photo by Karen James

Monday, June 13, 2022

Points for your team

Points can be gained for your partnership, by what you do today, and the way you do it, and the thoughts you have while your child is so near. Contribute to the bank of good memories. Be present, and good.
photo by Roya Dedeaux

Sunday, June 12, 2022


Parenting can seem repetitive, but the parents can be getting better at it, stronger, more determined, as they get chances to do better than before.

Food, clothes, the car, beds, baths, hair, shoes, over and over and over?

Try to think of each time as just *this* time. Be kind, generous, and sweet, knowing that you are making up for some other moment when you were maybe cranky or distracted.
photo by Sandra Dodd, a carousel in Minnesota

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Choices, priorities and locations

Laying "have to" on our kids, or on ourselves or on outsiders is less useful and healthy than looking at rights and choices and priorities and locations.

Can you jump on the bed?

Depends whose bed, which bed, where, when. Is someone sleeping? Is it an antique? Who owns this bed?
(original, in a discussion on facebook)
photo by some realtor, once,
in a house that's now Holly Dodd's

Friday, June 10, 2022

Discover and do and be

"Conventional wisdom" (those truisms that too-often aren't true) says "children need limits," and that good parents have lots of limits (the more limits the better the parent). We've all seen (and some have been in) families where stifling limits caused the very problems they were expected to prevent. But without a counter-mantra to "children need limits" it's easy for parents to fear that it must be true or people wouldn't keep saying it.

If by "limits" people mean "safe boundaries," sure! If by "limits" people mean "someone to watch and care," absolutely! But what people usually mean by "limits" is parents who say "no / don't / stop / forget it / when you're older."

When unschoolers discuss limits they're often discussing arbitrary limits, trumped up to make the parents feel good, or used as magical talismans to guarantee that their children will be creative, healthy and safe. What creates much more magic is to help children discover and do and be.
photo by Brittany Lee Moffatt