Teresa Graham Brett is an unschooling mom to two boys, Martel and Greyson. She’s also author of the book, Parenting for Social Change.
Teresa’s background as a social justice educator brings a unique and interesting slant to her journey to unschooling. In this episode, she shares some great stories and the fascinating insights she has gleaned along the way. Of course, the journey never ends, we’re always learning. And in that vein, we talk about adultism, the conventional obsession with control over children, ways to move to more supportive parenting, and much more.
Quote of the Week
“Being responsible for the care of a child doesn’t require control—it requires being in connection, and being a partner, and being a facilitator.” ~ Teresa Graham Brett
Ten Questions for Teresa
- Can you share with us a bit about your family, and how you came to unschooling?
- I’d love to hear more about your unschooling kids. What are they interested in right now? How are they pursuing it? How did that interest come about?
- You have written on your blog about the concept of adultism. Can you explain how you define it and give us a couple of examples?
- One of the consequences of adultism and looking at life through an adult-centric filter is that we often see children as “adults-in-training.” You have a great section about that in your book. Can you share what you see as the implications of that perspective? And how can we move away from it?
- In the book, you also make a great distinction between power and control. And you emphasize that, “letting go of control doesn’t mean we abdicate our responsibility to care for the children in our lives.” How do those ideas all weave together?
- As people come to unschooling, they usually have a lot of questions surrounding “screen time,” or, I like your phrase, media access. I think that’s because the dominant cultural story is all about how dangerous it is: addictive, violent, mind-numbing, creativity-sucking. Can you share your story?
- You identify a number of tools that parents can use as they shift from controlling parenting to supportive parenting. There are three I’d love if you could touch on for us: accepting our feelings; mindfulness; and awareness. Can you describe what they are and how they can help us shift away from the impulse to control?
- You book is titled, Parenting for Social Change. Here’s a short quote I love from the book: “By the simple, but often challenging, act of redefining our relationships with children, we can begin the process of creating profound social change.” Can you talk about the social change aspect?
- What has been one of the more challenging aspects for you on your unschooling journey so far?
- Looking back now, what, for you, has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling?
Links to things mentioned in the show
Teresa’s website: Parenting for Social Change
and Facebook page: Parenting for Social Change
Teresa on Facebook: Teresa Graham Brett