An odd complaint

This complaint has come up a few dozen times over the years—objection to unschoolers treating a new unschooler like an adult rather than as a child.

When a parent is very needy, they might need extra help to get to the stable spot where they can parent their children thoughtfully. I don't know a better way than for them to move quickly toward unschooling.

In August 2007, on Always Learning, I wrote:

From time to time someone wants me to treat people on this list the way I treat my children.

What I want to do with this list is to help other adults discover and refine ways to treat their children more the way I treat my children, if they want to.

The rest of that, with details and examples is on its own page, which I'll link at the bottom of this, too..

I didn't save them all, but here are a few examples:

You ladies should learn to treat adults as kind when you disagree as you do your children
How about we all try and extend some of the compassion and kindness we show our kids to one another,
I agree that some here have been very cold when responding. If they are that way in correcting an adult I fear that the reaction would be the same to a child. That is very sad to hear from this group. I love unschooling. People should be more mindful of how they react not just with their children but everyone around them.
For some of us we just learned about unschooling.. and it works the same as children.Treat us shitty and get a shitty response but treat us with respect and get it in return. :) I quit school and unschooled myself so i know there is no end..I was just a bit annoyed at Sandra and I still am...She has tons of info on how to treat children but doesnt follow her own advice towards aduts :)
I now question and doubt [Sandra Dodd's] representation of [unschooling] in the face of her inability to afford other adults the same courtesy, respect, and space that she claims we should all give to children. [More of that one is in the red-print box, lower right, of]
Sometimes I feel that the respect you claim is needed for all children is hypocritical because you can really come off as disrespectful to the grown ups here.
[In a public discussion of whether people should read more than just the name of the group before they post, someone wrote:]
I usually would read first, but others might not. If we don't tell our children what they "should" do, why do we apply "shoulds" to adults? Asking to learn...

I KNOW you don't treat your children like that so why me?

thanks to Tamara/thepackwoods for finding this one from back in 2011, and my response:

#1, you're not the child of anyone here.
#2, you're not a child.
#3, you came to a discussion group as an adult.
#4, you have children at your house. We would like to help you treat your children the way we treat ours.

This complaint is made a time or two a year. If a mother wants to be treated as a child, that's beyond the scope of this list. We KNOW that many adults had insufficient nurturing and would like to be babied and soothed and rocked and sung to. We can't rock and sing here anyway, but mothers can heal their own childhoods by babying, soothing, rocking and singing to their own children.

The thread Tamara found is here:

Contrast this with the traditional put-down "You're not my mother."

True! I'm NOT your mom!

When parents have issues Deschooling Being