How do I make my child … ?

I follow various social-media pages and groups and message boards because I learn about interesting books and toys and articles from them, and I appreciate those things. One thing I dislike about those pages and boards, though, are some of the questions people ask.

Most of them are essentially this: “My child doesn’t want to do X. How do I make her do it anyway?”

Some of them are essentially this: “My child’s school is harming her. How do I make them stop?”

And some of them are essentially this: “Please give me a list of things to make my child do. I’m looking for [a math curriculum, books to assign, a preschool curriculum].”

Sometimes they try to be specific, but they’re still asking the same questions: “My [gifted, learning-disabled, ADHD, autistic, shy, extroverted, right-brained, left-brained, teenage, preschool] child doesn’t want to do X. How do I make her do it anyway?” “My [gifted, learning-disabled, ADHD, autistic, shy, extroverted, right-brained, left-brained, teenage, preschool] child’s school is harming her. How do I make them stop?” “Please give me a list of things to make my [gifted, learning-disabled, ADHD, autistic, shy, extroverted, right-brained, left-brained, teenage, preschool] child do.”

To all of them, I want to answer: Stop. Just stop. Stop trying to make your kids do stuff. They don’t need to understand fractions today. They don’t have to write a book report, ever. They don’t have to be subjected to their mean teacher, and they don’t have to be subjected to their nice teacher’s ill-fitting mandatory lessons. And for gosh sakes, preschoolers do not need a “curriculum”!

Just stop. Put away the questions. Take them out again in five years and see how they answered themselves. But for now, go outside and play. Don’t go to school. Go see a movie. Watch the Andy Griffith Show for an entire day and marvel at times then and now (or don’t; just laugh!). Go walk around a museum. Go draw stick figures; go paint murals inside the garage. Go to a shopping mall and pose like the mannequins. Read books to each other — picture books (even with teenagers), The Hobbit (even with littles), encyclopedias, joke books, anything, close your eyes and pick something from a random library shelf. Watch all the Looney Tunes cartoons over and over again for a whole week until you’re slap-happy. Do puzzles; bake cookies; throw rocks at trees; build a deck. Go take some pictures and make a scrapbook. Go play. Sleep in. Stay up late. Get to know each other.

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About thedavenportblog

https://thedavenportblog.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in Aspergers, Autism, Education, Freedom, Home, Homeschool, Homework, Learning, Math, Parenting, Reading, School, Unschooling and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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