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© 2019 by Joyce Fetteroll

With freedom comes responsibility

With freedom comes responsibility. If your kids are not going to use their freedom to choose their own bedtimes wisely, they really can't have that freedom.

 

I agree with this. But a parent stuck with a head full of conventional parenting practices will translate that idea into action very differently than someone with a peaceful parenting philosophy. So it needs some expansion to find peaceful solutions.

 

If the need for Dad to have uninterrupted sleep is seen as a rule then the best options to get that for him are forceful and coercive.

 

If respecting Dad's need for uninterrupted sleep is seen as thoughtfulness and important for everyone (so he can keep his job and everyone can keep unschooling!) then the situation looks and feels different. We can react differently to what our kids are asking for.

 

It's the difference between telling someone who can't fly that they aren't allowed to and empathizing with someone who wants to fly but can't -- and then helping them meet that need in other ways.

 

Also if we see our kids as wanting to be kind, not wanting to be rude and hurtful to others and that sometimes they lack the skill to be kind AND get something they want, we can treat them more respectful than if we assume they're being rude on purpose.

 

I'm having a little trouble figuring out what this distinction [between the two above] might look like when put into practice. Can you help me out? This whole thread is very helpful for me as I try to learn a different way of doing things that respects my children but also sets the boundaries that I need in order to be a happy, healthy, good-mommy kind of person.

 

The distinction might be mostly in the emotions the situation arouses. We will naturally use different words when we're empathizing with someone who wants to do something they can't and when we're trying to make them stop, e.g., trying to gain control over their actions.

 

"No, don't do that, I don't like it," are useful words. :-)

 

What kind of personal boundaries are you trying to set?

 

When parents control then suddenly stop, kids often tune out requests to respect parent's needs because it feels like a new tactic to control them. It might take a while before they can hear your words as a request for respect rather than an obey-me-or-else command.

 

 

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