Quote (John Holt)

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Food for thought.

“A child whose life is full of the threat and fear of punishment is locked into babyhood. There is no way for him to grow up, to learn to take responsibility for his life and acts. Most important of all, we should not assume that having to yield to the threat of our superior force is good for the child’s character. It is never good for anyone’s character.”
― John Holt Continue reading

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Philosophical meme revised

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Time for another revised meme. This time a philosophical one. I thought it was so fitting for our Peaceful Parenting style, that I changed it a bit and got a perfect message I want to send out into the world. Original message is in white, my addition is in blue.

Yes, it is possible to raise kids who are kind, polite, respectful, thoughtful, pleasant to be with, and compassionate to the needs of others. And it is possible to raise them without raising your hands and voices. Actually, it is ONLY possible to raise kids like that by treating them with respect and modeling this very behavior you want them to demonstrate in the future. Not because they will be scared of being punished and spanked if they don’t, but because that will be what they grew up witnessing, and it would come naturally to them.

And if people tell you otherwise, well, those are their limitations, not yours. 🙂

Let kids learn on their terms

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This idea stirs so many emotions and thoughts, some dating back to my own learning experiences from when I was a child myself. I am blown away with how much this makes sense.

My daughter is approaching her 5th birthday in 3 months, and I had a serious decision to make about her future education. Big Daddy from Free Your Kids suggested I should look into works of John Holt. The name sounded familiar, I definitely saw his quotes floating around, but thought he was just another peaceful parent. Turns out he studied the way children learn, and wrote about it, too. I am learning so much, and agreeing with just as much, as well.

I knew in my heart that I shouldn’t force my kids to learn to count and learn their ABCs when they were too little to even understand what they were learning and why. I heard parents around boasting about how their 3 y/o could write her name already, or count to 100. Ok, I don’t doubt some kids are capable of this, but the majority still just memorizes what adults expect them to know by a certain age, and expects to be praised when they deliver. Because, well, it is just something society expects kids to know by the time they are 3 or 4. And if they don’t, then you are a lazy parent. I was fine with being a lazy parent, I tried teaching my daughter some letters and numbers, but I wasn’t trying too hard since she wasn’t interested too much. And we left it at that. I knew I was supposed to start doing this whole ABC thing, but somehow we kept postponing and spending more time doing other things she enjoyed more.

Until one day when I found some papers around her room with letters written all over them. I thought someone wrote them for her, either my husband or my stepdaughter. And when I asked her about it, she shocked me by saying that SHE wrote them herself. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t get how a 4 y/o child who is spending most of her time with me, doesn’t go to preschool, etc. would learn to write without anyone showing her. After all, isn’t this how you are supposed to learn? Turns out she did teach herself to write some letters by being exposed to them in various ways in her daily activities. I started paying more attention to that, got her some fun activity books to play with, but I don’t interfere much, because she just doesn’t seem interested when I try to teach her, and gets easily bored. I guess I am a lazy parent, but I choose to let my child be guided by her own curiosity, and learn on her own terms. I figured this way means she is actually learning those things, and not just trying to please me by memorizing them like a machine.

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Dressed to express

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As hard as it is sometimes, I accept my 4 y/o daughter’s sense of style. She has her own vision of what is beautiful, and who am I to tell her otherwise? I let her wear what she wants as long as it is weather-appropriate and safe to wear. Yesterday she chose to wear a very interesting head piece to her ballet class. She put it together from a blue glittery scarf, dark brown ethnic hat from my home country, and her pink head band with a huge bow. I asked her how she felt wearing it, and she said she felt beautiful. She definitely looked…interesting with a huge complicated nest-like structure on her head. I was a bit worried that other girls would make fun of her, but they didn’t, I don’t think they even paid much attention to it. Other parents asked me questions, and then proceeded to telling stories how their kids also put together crazy outfits, but then the parents always make them change into the clothes of parents’ choice before heading outside, and how it is always a fight and a constant struggle. Everyone was laughing. I felt sad.

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