On Back Talk

Among many other contra-conventional parenting practices I engage in is the allowance of so-called “back talk”. I have no interest in using my “authority” as a parent and threateningly large size and loud voice to silence any of my children who fill the need to respond to what they judge as an unsatisfactory final word. “Don’t talk back to me!” is a far more disrespectful thing to say to someone than is talking back, in my opinion. If I have something to say to you after you’ve given me your what-for, I will say it, and I expect likewise from you. Arguments need their day in the sun if they are to be resolved instead of swept under the rug, so to speak. My children must learn to stand up for themselves, especially toward “authority”. The moment I’ve coercively silenced my children is the moment I’ve lost them to those who seek to rule them. Fuck. That. And that’s today’s two cents.

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.

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