Anne Ohman joins Pam to answer listener questions (Anna wasn’t able to join us). This month we dive into questions around meeting the needs of multiple children with diverse personalities and needs, shifting and reconnecting with the children after challenging times, shifting away from control as a parenting tool, and what to do about children who often interrupt.
Click here to submit your own question to the Q&A Round Table!
Candace’s Question (from Pittsburg, US) [TIME: 4:10]
Hi everyone! I’m loving listening to the podcast and really appreciate all of your voices and insight on this amazing unschooling journey.
Quick background about me: I’m a part-time yoga teaching. I teach 12 class a week, early mornings and some evenings. My husband works a regular 40 hour work week. I am home with the kids during the bulk of their time awake.
We have 3 kids ages (almost) 7, 5, and 3. We just pulled them out of school at the end of their last school year (the older two were in kindergarten and preschool respectively.) At first we tried “school at home.” But that ended with power struggles, tears, and exhaustion. We are now fully unschooling, and loving it. (Although, I know that I have some more “deschooling” work to do.) I cannot say enough how unschooling helped every person in our family find connections to each other and ourselves.
My oldest, Cordelia, is very outgoing and energetic. She lights up around other people and loves exploring the world. My 5 year old, Merric, has social anxiety and is very mellow and introverted. He gets easily exhausted from brief (less than an hour) exposure to public settings. When he is home he has a beautifully rich internal world. My 3 year old, Winifred, is very attached to me and asks for a lot of attention, and does not nap. She is a lot of fun, and is happy to do whatever her older two are doing as long as I can hold her.
Anyway, here is the question: how do I honor and meet the needs of all three of my kids, when I am the only one home? If we stay home Cordelia is miserable. If we go out Merric is miserable. And if we go out for a brief outing, and then at home I choose to have quiet time with Merric, to help him restore himself, Winifred physically fights him for my attention.
Any ideas would be very helpful. I feel like whatever I choose these days I am betraying one of my kids’ needs. They are pretty resilient, but I would like things to be a bit smoother, or at least know that they can smooth out in the near future.
Anonymous Question [TIME: 17:50]
We are an unschooling family with 2 little kids, aged 2&4. We have been on this journey for a couple of years now and having this podcast and deschooling really helped us to get to a point where I felt like everything was going ok.
However we have had some really really hard times with a job loss, an upcoming move and just the stress of an uncertain future. My husband and I have been fighting a lot and some of it has spilled over in front of the kids. I’m really ashamed to admit it but they’ve seen some screaming matches. I’ve also been disconnected and spending a lot of time by myself while my husband handles them. Which is fine, but I’m usually the primary caregiver so their routine has gone for a toss as well.
My husband and I are working hard to make up and work things out. We are also trying hard not to let the kids sense our tension.
Any ideas on what would help make up for what they’ve already seen/heard? I feel like the overall atmosphere of our home is so stressed and so so sad. What can I do? What can we do? Please help me.
Erica’s Question (from Missouri, US) [TIME: 28:12]
Being raised in a standard power and control authoritarian model home, what functionally practical steps would you recommend to get started surrendering the illusion of control and practice honoring my children’s autonomy? Specifically what choices can I make when the urge to dominate and control monster where I become my authority models rears it’s ugly head? Did you face this and if so how did you deal with it? Thank you in advance love future unschooler current momster.
Alex’s Question (from France) [TIME: 38:13]
Hello and first of all let me thank you for your wonderful podcasts, help, advices and support ! It is of a great help and is a big source of pleasure for all parents who listen to them, I am sure !
I would like to hear your opinion about children who interrupt. My boys (5 and 7 y.o.) very often interrupt me and it annoys me a lot. When we are at home it does not happen so often but when we are in a restaurant, at a doctor’s office it can happen very often and it is very-very annoying. I explained them many times that they should wait for their turn and that it is not polite but nothing helps. What can help me to sort out this situation in a positive and polite manner ?
Thank you very very much ! Have a nice day !
Links to things mentioned in the show
Pam’s book, The Unschooling Journey
Anne’s website: shinewithunschooling.com