Rules and flexibility…

There’s nothing like an acute pain for making you sit up and take notice of your body. Respect it a bit more. And nothing like watching crappy chat shows to make you eternally grateful for the days you feel flexible enough not to have to!

I’ve got a back problem at the moment. Old injuries and probably over strain – thinking I was invincible maybe – stabbing me in the muscles and joints and making me treat my body to a break. Hence the telly watching at times I might have been doing something more pro-active.

Anyway they’ve been on about attachment parenting lately.

I’ve never seen a show host exercise such diplomatic control over their guests’ clear desire to scratch each others’ eyes out.

Parenting approaches are always good for stirring emotional responses. They always do mine.

It was the same with the approaches to home schooling too. There are as many different approaches to home education as there are to parenting and it could easily divide groups of people who were once harmoniously getting on! Differences could easily produce unpleasantness resulting from guilt or the need to justify, neither of which are necessary really – not if you’re committed to what you do.

Noticing this I’ve come to a conclusion: whether it’s parenting, or home education, it is not the approach in itself that’s important. What’s important is the individual needs of the people and the circumstances at the time.

And what’s also important, I think, is to understand that however much you want to practise a particular approach, if you take it to the extreme of adhering to a set of rules for the sake of the rules, rather than assessing the needs of the individual circumstances which are bound to change all the time if kids are involved, it’s verging on unhealthy.

Whatever approach you choose to your parenting or to your home education decisions need to be made on a personal basis and remain flexible. Neither attachment parenting – or not, home educating, nor school, provide one answer to all needs, one set of rules to suit every eventuality and individual. And the best way to parent and to home educate is to use whatever works for you and your family, which should include a variety of approaches and always mutual respect.

I think if you practise that kind of openness and flexibility as a parent or a home educator, you cannot go far wrong.

And mentioning flexibility – need to go stretch my back!

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12 thoughts on “Rules and flexibility…

  1. I totally agree and value the reminder, yet too find this a thorny place. Would like to think I am flexible but have perhaps had to be so strong and assertive in swinging away from the schooling lifestyle (and being blown away by the freedoms here including lots of healing of my own schooling experience) that I am still gladly holding a bold standpoint with regards parenting. And yet (coming round full circle) that boldness indeed holds close a flexibility and openness to be trying this with my children (sensitive to their individual needs, checking in with whether it works for them). I’m still way too judgmental of others I think, but its not lacking love and compassion for those with different choices, just standing by my own vehemently for now.

    • Thank you Ali. Parenting requires both the seeming inflexibility of upheld values but still with the sensitivity to change and openness when needed. I’m sure with your loving attitude you’ll find your way. x

  2. “Whatever approach you choose to your parenting or to your home education decisions need to be made on a personal basis and remain flexible. Neither attachment parenting – or not, home educating, nor school, provide one answer to all needs, one set of rules to suit every eventuality and individual. And the best way to parent and to home educate is to use whatever works for you and your family, which should include a variety of approaches and always mutual respect”
    Such wise words,as ever, our home ed group is going through a transition, many of us evaluating and responding to our different needs. Importantly, there’s a place in society for all of us!

  3. You’re absolutely right! Parenting/Home Ed hit so close to home and touch so many potential emotional triggers that it’s much better to have an open mind about it all. Flexibility is key. Hope your back is getting better from the rest :-)

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