It can feel so tempting to avoid or downplay what you’ve done; if we don’t talk about it, maybe we can all just forget it happened. Realising you’ve done the wrong thing is so uncomfortable, acknowledging it is even more difficult. Wouldn’t it be better to not? But do you really want your child to process this alone?
A lot of people claim to know autonomous children. They actually claim to know their own children as autonomous children despite never having the pleasure of meeting them. I actually know autonomous children; my own. And the reality is nothing like the fear.
The most important value regarding eating in our home is that it is ultimately for each individual to determine and navigate their relationship with food; this means when they eat, where they eat, how they eat, what they eat and also why.
Remember that we aren’t working towards a universally correct outcome but towards a solution that works for the people involved. You do not need to think it is fair or right, the people involved need to feel content with the resolution. It isn’t about meeting objective expectations, it is about meeting subjective needs.
When things are their most difficult, I will value today because I am with the people that I love. And suddenly, things don’t seem quite so difficult at all.
Ultimately respectfully parenting is about meeting our children from a place of equality, it is about living alongside our children and that requires seeing them; not our hurt, not our fears, not against the yardstick of society’s expectations, not as a reflection of us and not as their behaviour. When we can detach these barriers from our perspective, we can begin to intuitively feel what actions will contribute to our connection. The how flows from appreciating the why.
Trust is a slippery slope into expectation, it is afforded with conditions. Whilst that is completely relevant to an optional relationship entered into voluntarily, it is inappropriate when we consider that a child’s access to their autonomy should be unconditional. It is not for the parent to bestow or to remove.
A lot of things that seem like concerns are instantly solvable by the simple fact that you’re there. You’re not helplessly watching as things unfold like a movie, you are there to actively invest in solutions alongside your child. Any potential conflict you might face as you live a life without school with your family will have your presence and your perspective.
Yep, you heard that right. A person does not need to read to have a fulfilling and worthwhile existence, a child does not need a parent to care about their reading status to be invested in it themselves and how the child feels about their choices is more important than the choices they make.
But when I share what I’m writing about with my children? Their reaction is the equivalent of a giant “duh”. This is not new or confronting information in the slightest. And that is even more exciting.
Minimalism is the physical manifestation of intention. It is the act of bringing your life into alignment with your ideals. When one is first desiring to live with more deliberate purpose, they often must go through a process of editing their possessions. But there are things that hold us back; finances, sentimentality, obligation, identity and regret.
Of course there are ongoing broadly helpful things like nourishing food, hydrating, movement, rest, fresh air, sun, gratitude, inspiring company, calming surrounds, investing in your passions and aligning your reality to your ideals but sometimes the overwhelm still finds you. Exploring what helps me!