Scott Noelle is an unschooling dad of two, an author, and a life coach dedicated to supporting parents who want to move away from control-based parenting methods. He’s the founder of the website, DailyGroove.com, where he shares his practical parenting insights. We have a wonderful conversation diving into his wonderful PATH parenting framework, the value of nonverbal communication, ways we can hold presence with negative feelings, how fear can slip into control, and, as a founding member, he also shares some great information about the history and goals of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education.
Quote of the Week
“A lot of power gets drained from us when we’re in the state of anxiety, and if we can find a way to move into trust, then it does really transform our experience, and our kids tend to respond in a positive way that leads to easier times, all in all.” ~ Scott Noelle
Questions for Scott
Can you share with us a bit about you and your family?
What did your family’s move to unschooling look like?
You have a wonderful website, dailygroove.com, where people can sign up to receive daily emails from you. I signed up when I was early on in my unschooling journey and I really appreciated your nuggets of parenting insight as I was in the midst of challenging so much of the conventional parenting wisdom I’d absorbed. You call it PATH Parenting, and I love that not only is it an acronym, it’s also a reminder that the journey—the path—is the destination. Can you share an overview of what PATH parenting is?
We talk quite a bit in unschooling circles about communicating openly with our children and how it facilitates connection and trust in our relationships, but some children aren’t big verbal communicators. It’s not that they aren’t giving us messages, just that not a lot of them are verbal. If we find ourselves in that situation, what are some other ways we can communicate and connect with our child?
You have a great article on your website about holding presence with negative feelings, such as frustration or fear. Can you share what you mean and how we can develop that skill?
As our children get older, we can sometimes find ourselves uncomfortable with some of their choices. We start feeling fearful and protective, and that can so easily slip into control because that’s the go to response in our culture: forbid the activity and explain the consequences we’ll impose on them if they disobey. That approach can really damage the relationship though, can’t it? What might we do instead?
You’re also a founding member of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, which advocates both unschooling and alternative schools that support self-directed education. I love that the ADSE is trying to normalize self-directed education as a whole. Could you give us an update on the work that the Alliance is doing?
Links to Things Mentioned in the Show
Jean Liedloff’s book, The Continuum Concept
John Holt’s book, How Children Fail
The movie, Office Space
One of Scott’s daily grooves: The Power of Silence
E. Richard Sorenson’s essay, Preconquest Consciousness
Another daily groove: Ending the Blame Game
Scott’s website, DailyGroove.com