Alone - when no one around you understands

As a parent who has done her best to raise her children the TCS way there is one reoccuring issue that I find the most hard to deal with. Something that I never considered when taking on this philosophy all those years ago. I have a fairly good understanding of TCS, and I agree with the principles... yet I have parenting issues and problems as every parent does... the difference? I have no one who understands the things I struggle with, and the solutions they give are very much un-TCS.

A TCS parent cannot sit amongst a group of mums and talk about how it can be frustrating that your children stay up till 2 - 3am because they are too interested in their computer games... how this messes up the whole day for the mother as the children then sleep till midday and beyond, but are still too young to be left alone. She cant talk about how sometimes she is just sick and tired of talking and reasoning and wants to just be able to say "do it because I say so, and if you dont I will cut your pocket money this week". Her family and friends dont understand, often the attitude comes back "its your bed, now lie in it". A depressed TCS mother cannot seek help for fear of her parenting technique be bought to question.

So if you are thinking of TCS for your children... I would support your decision, I think its the only way to raise your children. Be prepared to have little or no support tho, understand that often the people around you will not only not understand, but may actually revel in your difficulties because it justifies their own disciplinarian methods. Understand that the usual lines of help if you get into serious problems with your own health are closed to you. Do I think its worth it? this isn't really a question for me, I dont think I can be any other way towards my children than I am now, TCS is how I feel about childrearing... but sometimes... I just wish I could call up a friend or go online and find someone right there to hear me cry and rant... and who would understand.

You are not alone.

You are not alone.

I find this to be a rather grim view. I have to say that as a newbie TCS'er with young children, this has not been my experience. I find Attachment Parenting to be a popular emerging idea that is spreading. AP, where I have started, has led me to explore homeschooling, which led to learning about unschooling, which has led to learning about Radical unschooling and TCS. I have learned about TCS through Motheringdotcom, and found many mothers who speak highly of it, encouraging eachother. I can very possibly go online and discuss, gain clarity, vision, and empowerment to continue my journey. I have joined many Radical Unschooling yahoo groups in which this 'radical' way of parenitng is the norm in these yahoo cultures. I see TCS and Radical unschooling as a wave of the future. I have reached out to the unschooling community around me to find IRL support and park days I can attend. I feel like I have endless possibilities. I have started my own gentle homelearning group in my area and I now meet regularly with gentle unschooling families that my children get to grow with. This is the future as I see it, and I am excited about it.

I find that when I am able to think positively and joyfully about my decisions, I attract others with similar viewpoints.

However, if I complain to my parents that I was up late breastfeeding my 2.5 year old, they would take my complaining as license to give their loving advice to wean. So I do not lay out my frustrations to them. I talk only about the joys of extended breastfeeding and the AP lifestyle. When I need to express my thoughts, I express my feelings through email, onliine groups, or with a similar-parenting friend, and it does have a healing effect to talk about it.

You can! Reach out and touch someone! :) Have you searched the yahoo groups for Radical Unschooling?

You are not alone! If you haven't read this already, I really recommend the book, "Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves." It helped me tremendously.

Alone - when no one around you understands

If this is of any help, my son has been home schooled for 9? months now. He had a phase of gaming until late and getting up late. He has just tried out school again, as it happens, and to my astonishment he asked me for an alarm clock so he could wake at 7am each day!! Then he asked me to firmly get him out of bed if he was still under the duvet by 7.10am!!

So even though I had been trying to move his bedtimes earlier by reading to him etc to help him sleep earlier, it just came out of the blue and I am so proud of this sudden leap forward. I'm proud because I feel vindicated that my faith in this bumpy, bumpy process is well placed. I'm tired and feeling older by the day, though, but there is more closeness in our relationship.

No promises it will happen in your house, but it's been wonderful being surprised like this.

A little snippet from a book I read years ago: a mother wrote how she'd just be filling her hot water bottle when a child would come up to her and need to talk NOW about something personal and urgent. So that was what she'd do. But it is so time consuming, soul demanding and lonely.

God bless the internet. Someone, somewhere will hear you :)

I do sometimes feel like I'm

I do sometimes feel like I'm the only parent round here who doesn't staple their children to the wall, or whatever the latest punishment is. My netfriends are fantastic, but I often which there was someone I could invite over for coffee and explain, say that a child hasn't had a bath in a fortnight and I mustn't let my mother know or she'll wash him by force.

What I do find helps is joining local Home Education groups. Even if your children are way below school age, the attenders at a home ed get together are at least open to alternative ideas of parenting, and many of them may well be unschoolers.

Ditto'ng the others

I must say, I have to agree with the others. Ever hear the saying (I know you have) "Birds of a feather flock together"? Well, I find that to be true in all areas of life, it seems!

If, for example, I were to complain to my sister in law (a public school teacher, who is not all that much in favor of homeschooling, but does commend what we do) about the challenges of homeschooling, what do you think HER advice would be?? :) On the other hand, if I were to complain/vent to fellow homeschoolers committed to homeschooling, not only would they likely commiserate, but they would have solutions that would actually work (most likely), and their advice would NOT involve "just send them to school."

I think the key here is, watch who you rant/vent your frustrations too. Make sure that if your frustrations pertain to TCS parenting (or unschooling, or being a vegetarian, or being a farmer's wife...whatever it is) that you are venting to your "birds of a feather". Otherwise, you're bound to get advice that you deep down really do NOT want to hear and are not going to heed (and, in your case, may even make you feel worse about something that deep down you feel satisfied about!)