When asked the reason you said "no", respond with "because I said so".
Punish first, ask questions later.
If you do talk to your kids, be sure to talk down to them.
If it seems you've talked too long, talk some more.
Don't trust your kids.
Make them do a math curriculum.
Remind them of mistakes they've made in the past. Frequently.
When your kid asks for anything, always say: "maybe later", "in a little while", "next time", "I'm busy."
Always compare them to other children—siblings, relatives,
schooled kid neighbors...etc.
Don't let them watch TV.
Don't show any interest in their interests.
Dismiss their interests as trivial or too much trouble for not enough gain.
Have preconceived notions about television and food that you are unwilling to explore.
Live a very routine life. Don't look for new experiences, new ideas, new people, new places. Do the things you know.
Don't allow a mess, or always make kids clean up
Look for who's to blame when things get stressful
Tell kids how their experiments will turn out
Project the future from small daily events
Micromanage so things turn out the way the parent 'knows' is best
Assign life experiences a different 'learning value' and steer kids "subtly" towards what you see as more valuable
Compare your children to other children.
Be unavailable most of the time doing other "more important" tasks than being with them and doing things they want to do with you.
Tell them they can't do or have something until they're old enough or have
earned it or attained some other achievement first.
See your income as strictly yours and not belonging to anyone else in the
See other items belonging to you as strictly yours and not to be touched
especially by sticky careless kid fingers.
Be sure to point out all the watermarks on the furniture.
Keep in mind that if you don't complain, children might think you don't
Limit their computer time.
Only buy them games that are "educational."
Only give them food you approve of/think is healthy.
Make them do chores (especially for money for things they want) and
withhold payment if they don't do them.
Lay guilt trips on them or shame them if they don't act as you think
Don't ever talk to them about situations that could be handled
better the next time.
Decide it's too much trouble to help them get what they want or need.
Don't provide information that might be important to them and let
them muddle through alone because *you* are too embarrrassed (thinking
Believe that they will never (read/add/brush their hair/get a job/
whatever) because they are "old enough to know this by now."
Indicate (with subtlety, of course) that one kind of interest is
more valuable than another - i.e. reading, writing, algebra, board
games are better than, for instance, tv watching, playing with stuffed
animals, making up puns, handheld or online gaming etc. Make sure that
the interest you favor for them is one that you prefer yourself.
Make sure you really figure out your child so well that you can give
him a label (shy, slow, lazy, oppositional, good, troublesome and on...)
Make sure you let your children know the label (or labels) you've
given them, preferably daily.
When you child says he likes or dislikes something, make sure that
comment becomes written in stone: if he doesn't like broccoli tonight,
make sure you never offer broccoli again, and if you do, make sure
everyone knows he doesn't like broccoli.
Be sure children use items for their originally intended purpose only.
Insist that one toy be put away before another is taken out.
Insist they read aloud to you daily.
When your children ask you to read a word, make them "sound it out."
Put books on a pedestal above all other sources of information.
Don't allow them to reread books or rewatch movies. If they ask you to
retell a story, say, "I already told you!"
When they ask you about something, say, "You know where the encyclopedia
is." or "Go look it up yourself." or "You know how to use a dictionary." (A Radical Thought)
Only allow them age-appropriate activities.
Don't let unexpected opportunities disrupt your plans.
Focus on how your kids will "turn out" instead of
enjoying who they are right now.
Think your children not smart or wise enough, so therefore you must make the
decisions for them.
Believe that life is divided into school subjects and worry "how
will my kids ever learn x".
"Unparent"—give kids "free rein" without talking to them re:
appropriateness of their actions (affecting others and others' property).
Don't help your kid understand the ways of the world and boundaries
and what's right and what's wrong.
When they have a disagreement, let them work things out themselves with no
input from you.
Do not prepare them ahead of time for anything new they may encounter. Let
them deal with it on their own.
Have the idea that unschooling is just allowing your kids to walk all over
others because they feel like it and well you don't want to run their lives!
Set lots of rules, boundaries, and limitations.
When children fight, punish them both, no question
Make kids clean up their own messes, especially after a particularly
messy project (or worse, just don't let them make a mess because you don't want to clean it
Listen to others over your children ( this applies to conversations and
"expert" advice given).
Hide all matches and knives because they are dangerous
Make your children clean their plates.
Restrict all food that you, the parent, deem as unhealthy.
Don't offer to help (this pretty much applies to anything).
Say "I am not your maid/servant" when they ask you for something.
Don't include your kids in important family decisions.
Stop free learning, exploration, activity jumping at a certain age,
because 'they need more structure now'.
Don't buy funky, specialized, unusual items from the grocery store,
because 'it's expensive', 'we'll never cook with it', 'it's just the
same as blah blah blah'. (Thinking of all the cool pasta shapes here.)
Don't travel, stay in one place all the time.
Proclaim museums as boring.
Or worse, proclaim museums as only for adults and don't take your children. This is doubly so for those art museums, kids can't handle and won't like art museums.
Practice censorship in what your children read, not taking into account anything other than age.
Worry, worry, worry.
Make sure your children hear you complaining about them to the other mothers
at park day.
Rush everywhere. Make sure you don't have time to stop and watch the water
tower being dismantled, the gas station tanks going into the ground, the street
The world is a dangerous place. Don't allow them out into it alone until
they're old enough to drive.
The world is a dangerous place. No climbing, running, jumping or exploring
What your neighbors, relatives, and friends think is much more important than
what your child thinks.
Be Boring. Dont follow your own passions. Have no hobbies.
keeping the house clean and the laundry done.
Never be spontaneous. Plan everything.
Put yourself last, all the time.
yourself. Don't question others.
Make your kids earn their keep with
chores and jobs.
Remind your kids often of how much you do for them.
Prevent him from turning everything that he wants to do or learn
into a game.
*** "Counsel" and "advice" were discussed, as a heading for this section. We don't want to say "counsel them" or "don't counsel them" either one, though, so it can't be set up as though those are opposites. "Don't advise" was tried and rejected. Other considerations:
Don't share information.
Don't be helpful.
Don't give/share information.
"Guiding" or "Guidance" or even "Counsel"?
Neglect disguised as freedom
The problem is that some of the most rules-wielding, "just do it" parents believe they're helpfully sharing information.
EVEN IF one claims to be unschooling...
In August, 2011, Sylvia Toyama wrote:
In my experience, learning how to create a home for my family where unschooling will thrive, where children will grow with passion and a sense of wonder, and where we will all continue to learn and grow is absolutely a skillset. I've met a few parents calling themselves unschoolers, who talked a good game and clearly felt they had the mindset of an unschooler. But when it came time to actually walk the walk by spending time truly with their child—not just in the same room or house, but truly present in their child's life—they were simply all talk, and it showed in their kids' unhappiness and inability to get along with others.
Now Calm Yourselves!
After reading all that sad negativity up there, how about a soothing song?
The singer and muppeteer is Caroll Spinney, who performed Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, on Sesame Street for many years. This song was the opening scene for the film "Follow That Bird," starring Big Bird.