“I refuse to allow my kids access to the addictive agents such as video games and leisure tv (cartoons) all day.”
– Christian Unschooling forum user
“refuse” – That is problematic.
“addictive” – That is problematic.
“all day” – That is problematic.
You have set up beliefs on false information that seems reasonable and true because it is touted by “experts” and from “pulpits” and “tradition” etc.
Getting to the root of your “why” on such things will help you to see that they are fear based. These activities are not addictive – but can appear so to someone who is already expecting it to be so.
Interest is Not Addiction
When someone is really interested in something, they most often will spend more hours on that thing than anything else that is of lesser interest. Imagine believing that reading is addictive because someone chooses to read “all day long”, or quilters, or computer programmers, or musicians with their practice and performances, or artists spending “all day” honing their skills.
When we place lesser worth on something, we tend to attach negative connotations and expectations to it. They more often than not are false, but we believe them to be truth because others have told us that it is so, even when they do not know, or have an agenda to prove out.
What DO They Do All Day?
Regarding the “all day”… if they wanted to do math all day, would you refuse to allow it? Or if they wanted to practice piano all day, would you fear it and find it addictive? What if they wanted to do curriculum all day, would you find that to be problematic, or would you feel pride that they were so focused and dedicated?
Rarely does one do anything “all day.” Most people get up to go to the bathroom, talk with someone else, especially if what they had to say was interesting to the other person. People eat, and sleep, and even choose other things that are of equal or greater interest or importance to them.
“Solutions” That Create the Problem
When someone has had limits on things, they will binge on them, and opt to do “nothing else” because there is that underlying fear that it will end, and they need to do as much as they can while it is available. That is not addiction. That is fear, anxiety, concern, pressure, imposed by the one wielding the control over the availability of whatever is intriguing, new, interesting, and challenging.
I have been where you are. I feared the same things. I imposed the same limits. Then we decided to trust, because we did know there was a better way. Better for learning. Better for relationship. Better. We had to get past our own fears. Our own indoctrinations. Our own traditions. Our own limiting internal speech.
We decided to stop trusting so much in people who were giving out all the dire warnings, and we chose to put that trust in how God created us to learn. We chose to trust more in ourselves and our children. We took the time to do the hard work to sift and sort through all the stuff getting in the way, and what we found on the other side of it is amazing. Not easy. Not without work. Not without real connection and communication that build loving, trusting, respectful friendships with our kids, with our spouse, within ourselves.
Unschooling is not for everyone. But it is an option for everyone. It is not something you will truly understand though, until you commit to living it out fully. That takes time. It takes trust. It takes releasing the idea that control and coercion are key to keeping kids in line. In alignment to arbitrary rules, to arbitrary time frames, to arbitrary ways and means of learning.
Unpacking Ideas Together
We are here to help you walk through this. To sift through old ways of thinking and doing. We are here to keep things focused on the principles of unschooling and to peeling apart the fears, the excuses, anything that can be interferring with understanding and implementing the principles in your life, in the lives of each unique child, your family as a whole.
Whether or not you are willing to let go… well, that is totally on you. We can’t do that for you, nor will we try to force you into that. Unschooling can be an amazing option, but the choice is yours.