Thursday, March 4, 2010

Radical Parenting

Last night the Discovery Health Channel aired a show called Radical Parenting. I knew about the show because I follow the Feminist Breeder (here's her blog on Twitter.

So, I thought I'd just throw in my two cents about "radical parenting." Here are some of the "things" they discussed:

(1) Unschooling -- Don't we all unschool kids prior to putting them in school? If you don't take advantage of opportunities, you're just being lazy. Now, my husband and I have discussed unschooling. I really like more structure that unschooling allows, so it's probably not a good option for us. Well, that and the fact I'll probably be working full-time when our daughter starts school. Sure, though, if unschooling is for you, go for it. Do you really need to go sit in a classroom to be smart? No. I bet unschooled kids know more real-life things than other kids.

(2) No hierarchies -- The kids sleep wherever, eat whatever and whenever, etc. This lifestyle goes very well with unschooling...and everyone else. No discipline, etc. We have some hierarchies, but not in a very traditional sort of way. We listen to our daughter. We learn from her too (probably a lot more than she learns from us).

(3) Elimination Communication -- I do think this is a bit radical. I have heard it can work. And, I guess in a way we started EC with our daughter...but not until 18 months old. And we definitely still used diapers. We just put a potty in the bathroom and made peeing "no big deal." In reality, EC starts at birth. I'm not too convinved a 3 month old looks any different when they're about to pee, but I'm not the expert!

(4) Attachment Parenting -- I'm pretty sure all the parents featured on the show practice attachment parenting. If listening to your kids is radical, so be it. AP is pretty normal to me.

(5) Extended breastfeedinfg -- Three years ago I would have thought anyone who breastfed for 3 years was breastfeeding for way too long. But, that was 3 years ago. I now believe in and have practiced child-led weaning. Yes, I am breastfeeding a child over the age of 2. I think a lot of people do it. I think a lot of people just don't talk about extended breastfeeding.

(6) Baby-wearing -- Not radical. Get over it if you don't like it. It's normal and it's super easy. If you haven't tried it, you're radical, you're weird, and you're different.

(7) Gender neutral parenting -- I first learned about this concept from the best sociology professor ever (Dr. Hope, I think her name was, at OU about 10 years ago!). You basically let your kids lead the way when deciding their favorite colors, toys, etc. Is that such a bad thing? I love the fact boys are being raised this way. I love the fact my daughter might actually have a chance at living in an equal household. Trust me, my husband is way better than my dad, but I think my daughter will have it even better.

Okay, there are the radical parenting concepts with my 2 cents!

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