Dads, unschooling, issues

What helped here was planting the seeds Sandra Dodd described, although that wasn't nearly as helpful as Michael hearing Sandra speak in-person. That brought it all home for him, specifically: STOP the cycle of shitty parenting NOW. Give your child(ren) the childhood you would have wanted. Be the dad you wish you'd had.

Another thing to consider is that dads often feel like being a good dad means being a hard ass.

If he's willing, in a moment when you're already feeling connected and loving, ask him what his fears are. Explore them together, write them down, take them seriously and then examine them through what you know of unschooling and unschooled older children. For M, these fears melted away the minute he realized that our daughter's childhood is SO DIFFERENT than his was, that there is no way she'll end up making the same (dangerous) choices he did—at least, not for the same reasons.

—Brie Jontry

What I had described, I think, that Brie referred to, was here:
I think everyone will "relapse" when they're tired or stressed. They might default to the voices in their heads, of their moms or grandmothers. No sense telling them to hurry up and get over it. Being loving and gentle is better. You'll make better progress toward peace for your kids if you can go gradually enough to have peace with your husband, too. It can be really frustrating.

Inside every man is the boy. If a boy was told no, don't, stop, grow up too often, it will take longer for him to find "okay" and "why not?" inside him. It's very easy for parents to be jealous of the freedom and privilege of their own kids, especially if the parent goes to work instead of being home with the kids. Don't insult that; understand that.

One thing I did with my husband a few times, when he was conflicted about what Kirby, our oldest, was "getting to do" that Keith wasn't allowed to do when he was that age, was to say gently something like "I wish our parents had let us do this," or "Wouldn't it have been cool to do this when you were young?" or "I wish my mom had let me do things like this."

I didn't ask him to agree—nothing like that. I planted the thought and left it there, just a few times over a couple of years.

If you can, practice being understanding and gentle with your husband, giving him (subtly, without comment) kind regard from time to time, as though he were your child. Small little gestures. Understanding. Allowances for his frustration or jealousy. Try to understand it. Be his partner in gradually changing.

Children need an intact family more than they need unschooling. (And I had provided a link to the page on Spouses.)

I quoted it on Just Add light and Stir.

Stop the cycle now (if applicable)

It's not a quote, but it's a summary/paraphrase by Brie Jontry of part of a talk I gave in 2010. I was really amused by it. There's nothing I didn't mean, though I don't think I phrased it quite this succinctly that night. 🙂

STOP the cycle of shitty parenting NOW.

Give your child(ren) the childhood you would have wanted.

Be the dad you wish you'd had.

photo by Sandra Dodd

Brie clarified where someone was understandably confused about the quotes. 🙂
The quote began with Michael Masterson paraphrasing Sandra Dodd, but Brie told the story.

Sandra Dodd gave a wonderful talk at our home last year where she talked about healing from one's childhood by being the parent you wish you had. My husband sat on our couch, tears streaming down his cheeks. It was the most meaningful, pivotal moment in his adult life.

When Parents have Issues

By and for unschoooling dads

Relatives' opinions and attitudes