Paradigm shift: Why is making them do THIS suddenly so important?

…making the children mimic respect or obedience whenever the parent needs a fix…

The above is a quote from Linda Clement, mother of young adults now, unschooler, and parenting coach, who was the mother of teenagers when I first met her on the list Unschooling Canada. This sentence fragment is out of taken one of the inevitable discussions on UC about control, obedience and discipline—and how we parents on the fringe reframe this. I’d like to share with you, first, my immediate reaction to seeing Linda’s words:

 It’s almost shocking to see this written down like this–for years, it’s been dawning on me that the times during which the inner nag/control freak comes out are the times during which I feel out of control over myself and other aspects of my life and there they are, my helpless, little children, the obvious target for a control exercise… because what are they going to do?

And when one—when I–realize that–what it is that’s at play behind those sudden maternal compulsions to enforce this or that behaviour—and when one–I–steps away from it for a moment, suddenly, perspective arrives and the thing that I absolutely had to address, control at that moment is well, just about irrelevant, and what is relevant is that I address whatever the real issue is in my life.

And now I’d like to remind myself, again, to never forget this.

But of course I will…

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