Shannon is an unschooling mom to two great kids, and they are a Canadian family transplanted in California for seven years now—an interesting adventure all on its own! She shares her perspective on unschooling and gentle parenting on her website, breakingdaylight.org, because “happy childhoods are built on peaceful parents.”
Quote of the Week
“Turning toward parenting as who I am and not a job I do affords me the freedom to be my best self at each turn of the journey.” ~ Shannon Loucks
Questions for Shannon
Can you share with us a bit about you and your family and how you came to unschooling?
I’d love to hear about what your children are up to. What are they interested in right now and how are they pursuing it?
You wrote a wonderful article that was posted on Flo Gascon’s site about your top five fridge-worthy reminders for gentle, connected parenting. I’ll link to the post in the show notes, but I wanted to talk in-depth about a couple of them. First was your reminder to “listen more talk less.” This was such a valuable shift for me! It made a profound difference in how so many situations played out, in turn building so much trust and connection in our relationships. Can you explain what you mean by that seemingly simple idea?
The other reminder I wanted to touch on was “apologize.” A couple of episodes ago I was speaking with Emma Marie Forde about a book on attachment theory and the author David Howe mentioned that even sensitive caregivers only get it right about 50 percent of the time, but that what stands out is that they actively acknowledge and repair the disconnecting moments. Your reminder to apologize meshes so clearly with that. Can you share your experience with apologizing to your children and the value you’ve seen from it?
You have a great story on your blog about your youngest son and his love for “surprise snacks.” Can you share a bit about your journey through your own expectations around food prep to get to where you came up with a beautifully creative way to make his wish for nighttime surprise snacks come true?
Now let’s talk about gaming! Technology has developed so quickly and many of us grew up with minimal access so it’s pretty unfamiliar. Not to mention, so many of the mainstream messages are negative and advocate strict control. But it’s not “just a game,” is it? I’d love to hear about your parenting journey around technology and gaming.
I’d like to chat about another conventional misconception: teenagers. So often we’re told by family and friends that things may be great now, but wait until our kids are teenagers. We can see where they’re coming from though, can’t we? If they’re trying to hold onto their teens more tightly when they’re ready for more space, or they’re discounting their teen’s perspective and insisting they do things our way—the “right” way. But it’s a different ball game when we partner with them and try to help them reach their goals, isn’t it? They are such amazing people!
A couple of months ago, you posted a piece on your blog titled, “Parenting is who I am.” One of my favourite lines was, “Turning toward parenting as who I am and not a job I do affords me the freedom to be my best self at each turn of the journey.” Can you talk about that shift away from seeing parenting as a job and what it means to you?
Links to Things Mentioned in the Show
Shannon’s website: breakingdaylight.org
Shannon’s Facebook page: Breaking Daylight
Pam’s book chat episode with Emma Marie Forde: episode 61
SelfDesign in BC, Canada
Shonda Rhimes’ book: Year of Yes
Pam’s blog post: Are you playing the role of “mother”?