Courtesy

Sandra Dodd, from a discussion on forms of address, on facebook in April 2013 here

My kids have, every one of them, been offered jobs, by adults. Just offered, without applying.

We all know that a false step, awkward handshake, failure to stand up and smile, or something like that can keep a person from being offered a job when they go to an interview. There are crucial moments, we acknowledge.

The way to breeze through crucial moments is to practice those behaviors (not "practice" like a drill, but to use them in normal life) long *before* interviews.

So in the case of my kids being out with other people so much, they were being evaluated on a day-to-day basis, in situations where they had a chance to be helpful and chose to help, or when they were asked a question and responded politely and helpfully, or when there was an instance that tested their character (honesty, courage, resourcefulness, whatever it might have been) and they handled it like a competent person (regardless of age).

That is what is missing in some people's parenting and life-living. Live IN the world, not in reaction to the world. Partner your child IN the world, don't hunker down in some sort of anti-world bunker and hoot.

My kids were being evaluated NOT for jobs, but as to whether they were okay, even though they had weird parents who hadn't made them go to school. They were being evaluated by their parents' friends, their friends' parents, the owners of gaming shops, by karate teachers and dance teachers and the parents of young kids they casually played with. Surely some didn't like them for one reason or another. No doubt someone heard one of them say something rude and it colored that interaction. Absoutely some people saw Holly get cranky and thought she might be that way all the time.

Of all those interactions, though, some people were impressed enough to trust them further, with materials, equipment, responsibilities, keys to buidings, children's safety and wellbeing. And from that they got paying jobs. And from that they got resume material. And from that they got other jobs.

There aren't short answers to how to do this well. There are short answers to how to do it badly, and people who only have the patience and desire for quick answers will not stay around enough to steep themselves in the hundreds of stories and details that they will need if they want to do this well.


There's more at that link (top of the page). Here's some of it:
Sandra:
I don't like it when people come to unschooling discussions and think a half-formed idea about unschooling is as good as twenty years of experience. I'm quite unimpressed when someone new to unschooling brags (threatens) in an online discussing that her kid is free and can do what he wants, wherever he wants. I don't want them at my house.
Dawn Del Rossi :
One of my first experiences with unschooling was at a playground. The kids were throwing sand and it was getting in people's eyes. They were then stick fighting and kids were getting hurt. The bothersome part for me was that the adults shrugged it off and said something like kids will be kids, boys will be boys kind of thing and nothing was done about it until a someone got hurt. Even then only the hurt child was addressed and no one said anything to the children throwing sand/hitting with sticks. I took my son away from the situation and we went and did something else. Back then I was a time out mom and when my children would throw sand I would put them in a time out. I think (hope) I come a long way since then and ow when my kids want to throw sand or rocks we find some place where that okay and no one is getting hurt.
Sandra Dodd:
I heard a story of a family that went from homeschooling to unschooling, but they were still in the same playgroup or meetup, park day, whatever it was. I was told (the story went...) that soon after they switched to unschooling, the group was at a museum and the kids went under the ropes into a display (dinosaur models, I think) and the mom shrugged and said they were unschoolers now.

Another family published a picture of the children and a parent on rocks past a sign that said not to pass that sign or play on the rocks or something.

That has nothing to do with learning. That is not good parenting. It's goofing around with anarchy and giving children cause to think that they are above and beyond rules and reason, and that private property and laws don't apply to unschoolers.

And it's the same with titles and forms of address. If someone is 70 years old and wants to be called "Mrs. Brown" and "ma'am," will she grant exceptions because someone is unschooling? Will she want to hear the explanation of someone young enough to be her granddaughter having explained to her children who were (in the lifespan of a septegenarian) born yesterday, that all people are equal and nobody deserves more respect?

I know we're beyond what kids call their parents. That happens, when discussions go all philosophical and good. Please don't use unschooling as a reason to be rude. And if you're rude, please don't tell people it's because you're unschoolers.


Tact

Tact is not a rule.
Tact is making a strategic, thoughtful decision after considering as many factors as the person has access to. Tactful. Tactics.
Tact is not about rules. Tact is about not burning bridges, not losing friends, not screwing things up. Tact is about being a good member of a social team. Tact is what helps a person maneuver a difficult situation and be praised and thanked later. Tact is what can get someone invited back over again.

Tact if a WONDERFUL thing to have. It is one of the best things anyone could have.

Sandra Dodd, quotes saved by Krisula Moyer in January 2015,
from a discussion on Always Learning

Etiquette for Unschoolers Respect (links to several articles)

Coaching (Choices, Freedom, and other difficult ideas)