a blog on life and all the things from my side of the hedge.
There's a post circulating at the moment about how if we push neurodivergent kids when they're too close to the edge we'll push them over (bad), so we need to wait until they're regulated and ready, then push them just the right amount to challenge themselves (good).
And on first glance I almost shared it, because pushing kids over the edge is obviously a bad thing therefore pushing them just the right amount to 'push themselves' must be a good thing.
But something felt off so I sat with it.
Okay, so before I get into it, let me clarify two things. lol
Firstly, I'm a parent who believes wholeheartedly in full spectrum radical Unschooling as a way of life for *my* family. I think of unschooling as traditional homeschooling's wild and wise rebellious cousin who is part of the family but not always understood or welcomed at the table because our existence tends to make people uncomfortable.
Secondly, parents depend on the school system, and even parents who know in their heart its not good for their kids aren't always able to make other choices. School is an extremely powerful system and the overwhelming majority of parents have their kids participate in it because colonization and capitalism have slowly eroded parents' options to do otherwise even when they want to. I recognize our entire culture revolves around school and so the things I'm gonna say are not a judgement of individual parents or teachers who are doing the best they can with what they have and for the circumstances they're in. They are also not a judgement of individuals who make use of curriculum or take an adult-directed homeschool approach. We all do the best we can.
All that being said - Let's go!
I recently had a conversation with someone who was shocked - dare I even say, appalled - to learn I can’t recite the order of the planets, or reliably name the capital of each province. No part of my daily life depends on immediate recall of these factoids, so I am 100% comfortable not having them at the top of my brainspace. I can read. I have access to books, the public library, and the internet. I know how to search for high quality information as needed and do so often. If I need to know about planets or capital cities, I’ll go online or to the library and seek out current relevant information instead of relying on the recollection of dusty facts I learned 3 decades ago :) Lol.
Becoming a mother... it can be beautiful and magical and fulfilling and lovely and life changing in all the best ways. We have been surrounded for centuries by carefully curated images that show us this perspective of motherhood. What many of us don’t see, is that birth is also an ending; a forging in the fire; a death and a rebirth.
As a passionate and vocal advocate for respectful connected parenting, and as the neurodivergent mother of a PDA Autistic tween and a pre-diagnosed ADHD child.... one of the questions I often hear is "What about when a child "needs consequences? What about when they NEED to be punished? What do you do then? Because sometimes 'a talk and a hug' isn't enough you know. I want MY kids to grow up to be good people not spoiled brats"
If you ask most who are advocates for consequences or punishment of children what they believe the purpose is, they'll inevitably say something about teaching that actions have consequences and give an adult example like “if you get caught speeding you get a ticket not a cozy heart to heart and a hug”
You know what though? Kids aren't stupid, and kids are not adults!