kitchen table math, the sequel: Laura Z on parents as guides on the side

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Laura Z on parents as guides on the side

re: Gordon Neufeld's Hold Onto Your Kids, Laura in AZ said...
This is a wonderful book! One of the best I've ever read, period!

Oh, yes, when you don't go with the flow with your child. I too tried with my daughter - from Pre-school through 4th grade. Not knowing she had Asperger's - though she is very high functioning. The schools tried to make her social, tried to make my "square-peg" fit into the "round-hole" of the whole social set-up. When it didn't work, it was my fault. (This was before her diagnosis).

Then when we started homeschooling, everything became so much easier for my daughter, because she had so much less stress! But the accusations came that I was sheltering her (Er... yeah, that's kinda my job), she wasn't getting "socialized" (We were keeping it at healthier levels and not overwhelming her), etc.

It all came down to the arguments given in the book - modern society really believes that especially as children get older they should raise themselves and each other. Parents are only to be "friends" or perhaps "Guides on the Side." We have lost our place of authority. How many parents even ask little 2 or 3 year-olds what they want to wear? Or what they want to eat?


Shannon Severance said...

I am unclear on what is wrong with asking a three year old what he (in my case) wants to wear. Actually now, we tell him to get dressed, he goes to his clothes drawer, picks his clothes and puts them on. (Except when he does not, in which case one of his parents picks out his clothes and dresses him, which he dislikes encouraging him to be independent.) Sunday is different because that's the day to wear his Sunday best clothes.

Now, the one drawer with clothes only has clothes appropriate to the seasonal weather. He does not have a choice of anything. Nor does it contain pajamas, which I found out by asking him if he picks his own pajamas now. (It had been awhile since I put him to bed.) His response was to stand on a chair, open a higher drawer where his pajamas are still kept. Then he proceeded with picking pajamas and changing into them.

I expect the same pattern for his younger sister and brother when they are at that stage of growing.

I believe parenting involves allowing children to grow into independence bit by bit. Setting up an environment that lets them choose from safe (parent approved) choices is part of that.

lgm said...

I don't understand the example either.

Does the book argue that children who aren't neurotypical be raised in a smilar manner to those who are?

Catherine Johnson said...

I'm thinking....I don't think he's mentioned non-typical children as a separate category at this point.

I think the answer is 'no' --- he wouldn't say that you should raise typical children differently from non-typical.

I don't know about kids choosing clothes .... I was always happy when Jimmy showed as much interest in clothes as he did, and C. had no interest in choosing his clothes until he was old enough to dress himself.

Now, Andrew ... I am staging an intervention. (He's 18 and autistic.) He's got one sweater, which technically belongs to Jimmy (also autistic) that he insists on wearing every day.

I just bought him two new sweaters at Woodbury Common, and he's going to have to wear them at least once in a while. Not at home, but at school.