Subtleties of the unschooling mindset – (part 3) Labels

Labels create expectations beyond natural human capacity. They exist in the world of perfect. In the club of if I obey these rules I can put on that labels and embody it. Be proud of it. Flaunt it and judge others by it. Exclude because of it. All manner of elitist attitudes stem from labels. As you can probably guess, it causes some problems, one of which is burnout.

One experiences burnout when they tried and failed to meet unrealistic expectations. The catch is that the unrealistic part is different for everyone.  Burnout shows there is something out of balance, your conscious isn’t settled. It’s not natural to experience burnout over parenting. Over commitments elsewhere, particularly for time, yes, but not parenting.  It’s probably the most natural thing we do. Guilt over parenting is the same. Who but yourself is applying unattainable standards, prophetic internet no-faces? You can’t logically feel guilty if you are doing what you are actually capeable of, it’s what you can do at any particular point in time, nothing more or less within the circumstances. It’s not practical to hold ones self to external standards of someone else’s label of ‘good’ parenting who knows nothing of your situation. Or worse, attempt to hold yourself to the standards of parental playground judgement amongst each other over which way is the right way, that has changed every decade and guarenteed it will do so again with the next fad label.

Practical, logical parenting dictates that every situation needs to be considered seperately. Differing personalities even within the same relationship over time, differing circumstance in and outside of one’s control etc. These are the only things one can use as a parent to determine an appropriate course of action. No one parenting style rules apply across the board. No one else knows your situation and your capabilities better than you so guilt is useless self imposed emotion. Perhaps you feel guilty towards your child, for not putting your best foot forward? Then change, don’t feel a useless emotion, just do better next time, get on with it. Trust me, you being human will help your kids feel it’s ok to be what we actually are, we don’t belong in the world of perfect so stop pretending that it even exists for our species. You are the only one who can look at your expectations with the understanding that we are imperfect and beautiful messes of creatures. You are the only one who can see how useless guilt and these counter productive perfect labels are.

Please just do what you do, think lots on things, apply what works, dismiss what doesn’t and go from there. People get way too caught up in labels and rules. They really are pretty useless when trying to categorize such an intellectually varied species as humans much less in one of our most complex relationships.

(Part 1) Coercion vs Suggestion
(Part 2) Personal Voice


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