When we started out with our unschooling journey, we felt a little like knights in shining armor freeing ourselves from our own self-imposed shackles. Hence the name of the blog.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

So much happening as we relax

I am in Bangalore with kids at my parents home since the 30th of June. A series of illnesses/discomforts have been bothering some of the family members here. My sister and her dh are both staying here these days. Kids are enjoying thier company. Except for a 2 day cold that Zoya had neither me nor kids fell ill. So these past 10 days we have been pretty much either indoors or downstairs playing in the playground, pool, or generally running around. Weather has been great... a bit rainy and cloudy but cool and breezy. A nice change from Pune heat.

I had a whole list of things i wanted to do with the children... as Bangalore has a lot more to offer than Pune. There are playgrounds and places to hang out at etc. there is even a Planataruim, A science center etc.. But we have not been able to do much. However i have observed, heard and joined several conversations between Raghu and my sister, Veena. Over the past 5 days we have watched all the Harry potter cds almost. And we've discussed Harry Potter details, what they missed shwoing in the movies, the power of certain characters, more magic-world terminology etc. So we are relaxing... but so much is still happening. (my fear... can't relax... feel "lazy" etc... old labels that i was raised with stopping my happiness of the moment). So we've watched movies, chatted, watched movies, chatted, walked, enjoyed some strolls around the neighbourhoods etc.

I'm going with the flow and reading more Louise Hays. I find it refreshing. I have seen my attitude towards food change due to her book and unschooling of course. Basically enjoying peace within on a more consistent basis allows my childrne to see that peace is a natural state. And they rarely if ever have tantrums, whineys etc. If i tip the scale and stop listening then i see the immediate repercussions... very quickly Zoya will demand attention in not so great ways.

Quick note: Raghu knows i have always given him attention when he asks/needs it... he demands it less... he simply asks for it. He is more tolerant of my being unavailable (having a bath, needing a quick walk etc). Whereas Zoya is still in that stage of 'needing' me. So i am more "there" for her and as quickly as possible too. And yet.. she is calmer because Raghu is around. She has become friendly with grandparents and is again enjoying them. For a while there... she was clinging to me and missing her dad. (ravi was unable to take time off) Over all i can see how unschooling, respecting children's needs, being a faciliator and not a dictator, working on myself first, listening and creating choices for all of us, working towards making us all happy etc... just work. The impact is enormous.

My parents and Ravi's mom are 3 very sweet grandparents. They may not understand RU and may not see the full implications... but they are supportive by trusting Ravi and me. They can see thigns that seem to prove RU for them. I am still always around to help them understand my children if need be.... but for the most part my children are able to communicate and the grandparenst do listen. I am grateful for these expereinces.

Loving life with my children. I am learning a lot about myself.

4 comments:

Sandra Dodd said...

-=-And they rarely if ever have tantrums, whineys etc.-=-

I felt a large shift in my understanding when I first realized, when my kids were still little, that they had very rarely, if ever, cried themselves to sleep.

That's a huge change, and not a small one, from my own childhood.

Hema A Bharadwaj said...

I'm saddened to hear that... do i understand right... that you cried yourself to sleep sometimes?

Please direct me to any essays you have on that particular 'shift in understanding' that you refer to.

So many of my own reasons for unschooling come from being forced to conform as a child, not being heard truly and arbit rules in place (and hence I lied a lot), still unsettled within abotu my self worth at 34, not being able to remember much of what i was forced to learn at school (what a waste of time), incomplete conversations or a complete lack of them about anger, about emotions and how to deal with them etc. Can't wait to meet and chat with you.

Sandra Dodd said...

I cried myself to sleep hundreds of times, I started to write and then i thought of whether it really could have been hundreds. "Dozens" isn't enough. Well over a hundred times, I'm sure. Probably hundreds.

I saw in retrospect that my children had hardly ever cried. I think once Holly was crying at night and it struck me that I hadn't seen that, and she was already ten or eleven. It was such a "normal" part of my growing up that I hadn't even thought of it consciously until I saw the lack of it in someone I loved.

globeonmytable said...

Seeing this, I realised that at first I didn't quite understand the phrase 'crying themselves to sleep', then I remembered what that phrase refers to.

I have just chatted to my son (11) about it and his eyes went all round at the concept.

In the UK it is a common way of training children/babies to fall asleep without their parents, in a room on their own, and at a set time at night, and not at the breast. There are quite a few different variations :( But lots of people don't do it and co-sleep or breastfeed to sleep or read stories until the child/and adult! is asleep.