editor's note: This was in response to a sweet letter from a young mother of an eight month old who was asking homeschoolers' opinions, on a now-defunct discussion forum

How to NOT Screw Up Your Kids

by Lyle Perry
December 1, 2003

  1. Take everything an expert says with a big grain of salt. Listen to your instincts, not always an expert's opinion. If something doesn't sound quite right, it probably isn't. Listen to your heart.

  2. Only listen to your mom if your mom is worth listening to. If your own childhood was screwed up, there's a good chance that she doesn't know better than you.

  3. Don't send your kids to school. School can gobble up the sweetest kids and turn them into someone you don't even know.

  4. Don't go to extremes. One end of the spectrum is no better than the other. Hover somewhere near the middle.

  5. PLAY with your kids. Playing can be the single best way to really get to know your kids. Get down on the floor, follow their lead, and PLAY with them.

  6. Ignore the naysayers. If what you're doing feels right, if you and your kids are happy, don't change a thing just because someone else says to.

  7. Let your kids be WHO THEY ARE, not who someone thinks they should be. Throw away the mold and let your kids LIVE.

  8. Trust your kids. Show them they can trust you.

  9. Respect your kids. Too many adults DEMAND respect from kids without showing any respect in return. Doesn't work.

  10. LEAD BY EXAMPLE. Be polite and confident, show trust and respect to those who deserve it and your kids will do the same.

Respecting Children

How to Screw it Up

Lyle's opinion on deschooling and games

more Lyle Perry