The word “addiction” is sorely overused in our society. Any time someone spends in an inordinate amount of time on something, those who are annoyed by it will call it an “addiction” and proceed to, in one way or another, shame the person. This seems foolish.
I’ve always thought of “prosperity” as having an abundance of material wealth, and that seems to be consistent with popular usage. However, my thinking here has been going through some changes lately.
I’m a big believer in the idea that people give words their power. If “fuck” is said often by a three-year-old (which in my house, it is) then it loses its power. It’s just a fun thing to say, and when used non-playfully, it just doesn’t have as much bite. And isn’t that a good thing? Don’t we disarm pricks just a little bit by softening the meaning of the words they want to use against us?
“Have to” is one of those phrases that I only began thinking critically about when we travelled further along our unschooling journey. A major theme in radical unschooling is the removal of rules and obligations, and replaced with principles and choices. “Have to” often implies unchosen obligations, and can be, but is not always, incompatible with respecting your children’s autonomy and preferences.
My three-year-old is full of life and has a great, fresh sense of humor. Her favorite word, if you ask her, is “fuck!” She uses it quite often, much to the delight of myself and her older siblings. A few weeks ago, she started spitting. This doesn’t seem uncommon for little kids. They eventually discover the process and she found some joy in it. So much so, that she thought she’d share it with me, and spit right on my face.
Standing up or sitting down, holding something close to our faces, head slightly bowed, and not moving much for extended periods of time is a seemingly unnatural position for human beings to take. There’s something not quite right about it. From their perspective, they are actively and purposefully engaged in reading or watching or playing, but from a third party’s perspective, it’s inhuman.
Sometimes people are angry or upset, and sometimes that anger is directed toward us. But it’s not always the case that our actions inspired that anger. If we know that it did, recompense may be in order. If we are unsure, then stay calm and composed, and do some digging. Taking it personally is unhelpful, both to you and to them.
The irony in the free will debate is the seeming choice that its participants make to be included. And therein lies the first distasteful implication of the possibility that humans do not have free will: the choice we witness is a lie.
“Skyler is an unschooling dad of three children and is the editor of the book Unschooling Dads: Twenty-two Testimonials on Their Unconventional Approach to Education. It’s not often that we get to hear about unschooling from the dad’s perspective and I really love that you took the time and effort to pull this book together. I really enjoyed reading their perspectives.”
Here’s a philosophical brain teaser for you: Should parents be held responsible for their children’s actions? My culturally programmed answer to this question is, “Yes, because children can’t be held responsible for their actions, they’re too young to really know what they’re doing, and since somebody should, why not the ones who are raising them?”