Lately there has been some talk about being "THAT mom", about values, and about 'letting' your kids do things. A lot of people have had something to say about it, and it would talk too long to go over everything, but in general the discussion has focused on whether parents should allow their kids to do things the parent disapproves of, on whether the parent should help the kid do things they would not choose for them. I think the point that needs to get across to those naysayers in the unschooling community and beyond is that you don't really have a choice. Your children will do whatever it is they want to do, and there is absolutely nothing - and I mean NOTHING - that you can do to stop them if that is what they really want. But it should also be taken into consideration that happy children - and teens - very rarely do anything that is harmful to themselves or others. I'm not saying "Of course your kid isn't going to do anything harmful!" because many people do. But if your kid is happy, content, provided for, and treated with respect, they are unlikely to have any desire whatsoever to be that person.
Another point that needs must be presented is that just because your kid isn't engaging in any activities that are harmful to themselves or others, doesn't mean they aren't going to make you uncomfortable. Most kids grow up with values that are different from their parents in some way. They want different things for themselves. They believe different things. If you strongly believe that, for example, it is very important to improve your mind, there are a lot of people who would back you up and call this a good value to hold. I would even say that yes, improving your mind is always a good thing.
But what if your child doesn't agree? What if your child prefers physical activity to mental, or creative activity? What then? Do you force your child to learn about atoms and quadratic equation, or do you sign them up for a soccer team or buy them some modeling clay? The people who have been participating in this blog carnival, the people who are "That mom" or "That dad" or "That sister", are the kind who would rather see their children happy and doing what they love then see them doing what makes them, the mother or father or sister, happy, doing what THEY love. People who put down their own values for their children's, people who put down lesser wants for wanting their children to be truly happy.
I'm sure this doesn't address all the concerns people have voiced, or not voiced, but still. The main points are there. You can't stop your children doing what they want...and why would you want to?
5 weeks ago