Letting your child take age appropriate risks, doesn't make you a bad parent,its all about a Unschooling learning path for them, as I can see now.
Allowing your children to experience the real world and all those real world consequences.
When ever we are out and about and my children decide they want to go all ninja and try their skills like balancing or flipping or even climbing over everything .I had always been quick to say no stop. ! Not only no because the possibilities they might hurt themselves(which I usually thought was true ) but no to the fact that their may be some other parent watching and judging how bad of a mother I must be, by letting my kids run around all wild and stuff . The thought of them thinking I do not care for my childs safety. - which is just nonsense used to be in control of how I went about parenting.
But Since being on this unschooling journey as a whole family
I have now learnt to embrace my children's wild sides. I have learnt to trust in them, as they know best when it comes to their own capabilities and limits. - Like my daughter believed she could walk along a jetties beam, she seen this as a opportunity to practise her balancing skills, - if that were 2 years ago, I would have been quick to say get down you will fall.- now knowing the only real danger was falling into water, as she knows how to swim and I am their to quickly jump in if she did,- does not make sense to hamper her curiosity and her own learning path.She understood the risks involved but she wanted to give it a shot anyway. Her brothers followed her as well but they stuck to their own limits and capabilities they felt comfortable with, like balancing on the beam closer to the shore, I knew they believed in themselves enough at that time and the reward outweighed the risk to them.
You have to understand unschooling is all about trustful parenting and not given a damn what others think
Hunter -Gather tribes embrace Trustful Parenting Everyday, why shouldn't we ?
In hunter- gather cultures they embrace trustful parenting everyday, they understand their children are growing adults who need to learn about the world around them and where they fit in.They are not surrounded by judging eyes or finger pointers. They give their children one of the greatest rewards which is trust and freedom . Freedom to use that trust to experience and learn new things for which they realise is expanding their child's own capabilities and moulding them into capable young adults. By allowing the child to help handle and gather food, to cook over the fire , to give them sharp tools and teach them the proper ways to use them, by allowing their child to climb trees and adventure the nearby environment unsupervised .This style of trust is creating a balance between parent and child. The child is learning to be independent and learn that infact they are capable, and the parent is learning that when the time comes the child has all the tools required to be able to navigate through adulthood independently.
Trustful Parenting and Unschooling is when you stop seeing a child as a clumsy, incapable little person and start seeing them as a smart, capable young adult.
Since starting Unschooling and stepping away from the mainstream way of parenting, I have opened up to the idea that maybe my children were not these little people who need me to hold their hand on the balancing beam , that maybe they will not fall into the water if I do not intervene , and maybe , just maybe they knew this all along, and I was just to delusional to see that this was about a learning path for them , they wanted to learn from real life experiences and real life consequences.. - and I let my fear and others judgments hold them back..
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Well not anymore I now embrace those situations that make you think twice.
Yes I have come along way and fully embrace a more free range style of parenting, I let my children challenge themselves and put their own knowing of their capabilities and limits to the test whenever they feel like exploring them. As I understand this now as a learning path . I always remind them of safety guidelines, and the consequences before hand, I guide them if they need it and lend a hand when such help is required. Its all about great real life learning experience now, and as unschoolers curiosity is the only lesson they will ever need.
For instance my son today had the urge to build a skateboard out of cardboard box and old wheels - he done this all himself
His curiosity was his only lesson and he was his own teacher
These were his steps :
He climbed into back of ute to pull out box from rubbish ( we were taking away rubbish tomorrow )
He ran around the house like a chicken lost its head looking everywhere for his pocketknife, this is where he needed my help ( yes both my boys have real pocket knives and have since they were around 6 years old )
He found a permanent marker to draw the shape he then used his pocket knife to cut the box into shape of a skateboard deck.
He used his own drill to screw the wholes for the ( old skateboard tracks ) onto the cardboard- yes my boys have their own real power tools, they wanted these for Christmas's and birthdays instead of toys each year since they were toddlers
Lastly he found some old screws that he screwed into both the box and tracks
( it was flimsy as it was carboard but it was bloody awesome, and the best thing was seeing how proud he was of himself, -he is 7 years old and a master box troll )