>Discovery Health Special: Radical Parenting

>I watched the show with Charles last night. We enjoyed it. He said he wants to watch it again. I’m glad I recorded it.
They talked about Unschooling, Attachment Parenting, and Gender Neutral Parenting.

I liked seeing a young family who unschools their kids. My husband made the comment that “we aren’t that radical” I agree. Unschooling looks different in every family. I also don’t think that unschooling means you drop everything you’ve ever done all at once. You take your time, and move on to the next step when you and your family are ready. That’s what we do.

Charles said while we were watching it last night, that this is not for everyone. He is correct. I believe you have to find what works for your family, and be informed to make the best decision.

The experts kept saying “you have to make sure your children are prepared for real life situations” They are living real life, how can you not learn about life when your already living it? I see my children learning every day. We learn in everything we do.

I would have loved to see different unschooling families at different ages, and stages. Going from child to adult. Maybe one day they will do it, and they won’t have experts who aren’t even living the lifestyle to tell us the pros and cons.

The featured family for unschooling. Humans Being

The Attachment Parenting family talked about using elimination communication. That is learning your babies signs for when they have to use the potty. I have friends who use this method, and I find it interesting. She held meetings on EC at her house.
I loved seeing women breastfeeding their babies on TV. I actually can’t remember the last time I saw someone breastfeeding their child on TV.
Another thing they did that I found interesting, they planted their kids placenta’s. The placenta nourishes the baby in the womb, and they used it to nourish a new tree they were planting.

They also talked about babywearing, and co-sleeping. Of course the “expert” said that if you wear your child too much they won’t be able to explore the world around them. Those were not her exact words, but pretty close to it. I don’t know anyone who wears their child 24/7
I think our babies learn so much about the world when they are being worn. They are at our eye level, and can see the world from our view. I wore Ava a lot when she was an infant, and continued to wear her until she was two years old. I wore her until she didn’t want to as she called it get  up anymore.
She learned to walk and crawl like every other child out there, in her own time, when she was ready.

This same expert also said that co-sleeping is becoming more wide spread. She forgot to mention that it’s becoming widespread in the USA, everyone else has been doing it for years. That’s just how they live. They keep their children close, and are very attentive to them.
The expert went on to say that you should use a bed side co-sleeper, because there have been cases of infants being smothered with a pillow or blanket. Again, she forgot to mention that you must be sober, and not taking Nyquil with Tylenol PM if your going to co-sleep.

We have never once rolled over on our kids.Everyone I know that co-sleeps does so in a safe manner.

Once again the expert had to weigh in on the demands of AP. She said it can be exhausting for the parents, and some take it to the extreme. We never found out what she meant by the extreme.
AP is not exhausting for me. Letting my child cry it out for hours at night in the dark would be exhausting for me.
Not being in tune with my child, and being able to pick up on their signals would be exhausting for me.

Charles said he could relate to the husband during the AP segment. He too was a little wary of some of the ideas I wanted to try. Once he tried it, he liked it.

The last segment talked about Gender Neutral Parenting. They have two boys and there is no woman’s work, or man’s work. Their boys cook with mom, and the dad was doing laundry. There were no girls toys, and no boys toys. Their son asked for a doll house, and he got it.

Nakiah has recently asked for a tool bench, and we’re going to get one for her. I don’t see anything wrong with letting our kids play with what would be considered girl, or boy toys. My girls love to play with Barbie, and dolls, and play dress up. They also love to play with dirt, mud, trucks, and action hero’s.
I’m never going to tell them they can’t do something, or have something because it’s only for boys.
Even though I stay home, they know that some moms go to work, and some dads stay home, they know that sometimes mom and dad both work.

Once again the expert chimed in with her stellar opinion. She said something like children being raised in a gender neutral environment need to be prepared for how uncomfortable other people might be. She says that society is not gender neutral. I found that statement laughable! No mater what we choose to do or not do, someone in society is going to be uncomfortable. We can’t go around living our lives based on what someone else might think, or how it might make them feel.

One of their boys was playing with the breast pump, and holding his baby doll to nurse it. Charles said “I don’t agree with that” I asked him why not, and he said it just wasn’t right. My thought was that maybe when he is married he will be able to support his wife in breastfeeding, because it was always so natural for him growing up. Then husband says “well that makes since”

Gina blogs on The Feminist Breeder

I’m no expert on anything but my own kids, but those are my thoughts on the show last night. I am sad it was sensational, and not more informative. What can you expect though, they wanted to make good TV. The experts seemed to be much harder on the unschooling, and attachment parenting families. I wonder if either of them even have kids?

If you saw the special, what did you think?

Here is the schedule for upcoming shows. Discovery Health

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17 thoughts on “>Discovery Health Special: Radical Parenting

  1. >I posted on this too. It was a bit sensational but I also think they picked some more extreme examples of "radical" parents who practice unschooling and AP. The Feminist Breeder's family ended up appearing the most normal of the three. Good for her, but sad for the other two. I applied for being the AP family myself and I assume we didn't get a second glance because we don't do EC. But who knows. I am very interested in unschooling but the way it was portrayed/the way the Parent family unschools put me off and I'm sure it probably put other families off too. yes, we can all do it our own way but for anyone new to the unschooling concept was probably floored by some of this family's way of doing things. I know I disagreed with a lot of it, even though unschooling appeals to me.

  2. >It can't hurt to try. I can hear my husband " babe what are you doing now?" He will either roll his eyes at me, laugh, or both and say ok.Thanks for those tips on EC.

  3. >Darcel, I tried EC with my second child starting at 7 months because she had been so easy with everything else. IT IS AWESOME! I don't do it full time and you don't have to, to get the benefits of preserving the awareness about elimination. It makes a very gentle transition to potty independence if they always know what the potty is for and can eliminate on cue. The easiest way to get started is to put them on the potty right after they wake up to catch pee and when they are going to poop. My daughter is usually very obvious when she is going to poop. I also take her to the potty periodically throughout the day, often when I go. She just turned a year old and I rarely have to change a dirty diaper and she pees on the potty every day. We still use diapers, but I am beyond thrilled with how easy it is to do. If I have a third child, I will start from birth, but keep it to part-time.You don't have to start straight from birth, but give it a shot, I think it would fit in very naturally for you.Diaper-Free Baby talks about doing it part-time.

  4. >Me and hubs would have loved to watched this segment. I'm going to look for it online. I think we have an unconventional marriage (I worked and paid bills while he attended grad school FT, now I'm a SAHM. He does 90% of the cooking, I do 90% of the chores) and that has translated into being unconventional parents. But we each bring our own ideas to parenting based on how we were raised (my mom was a total AP before there was such a label). Sometimes he wants to let our baby cry herself back to sleep and I have to remind him that goes against our gentle parenting agreement…he can't help it because he's hard-wired to think babies can be spoiled based on how his mother raised him. I see him struggling to shift his mind set, but at least he's trying. We absolutely agree that her education should be experienced based, and not from the traditional schooling methods of memorization. Tonight we are attending a Montessori open house…very exciting!

  5. >Thanks for your rundown, I didn't get to see the show. I'm amused that being a responsive, attentive parent is considered radical. We're unschooling our 6 daughters and pleased that the topic was even presented on national TV. I don't expect everyone to embrace it right away, it took us a lot of reading and research to decide that YES- we can do this!

  6. >Laurie- thank you for those links. I'm not sure EC is for us, but it's more because I'm lazy 🙂 HA!Paige – That's what I am so upset about. Why didn't they contact API, or get experts who were pro unschooling, AP, and Gender Neutral Parenting.I really wish they would have presented more facts and studies.I suppose that's what we bloggers are here for!I think it's funny that I'm considered a radical parent, but none of it seems radical to me.

  7. >Excellent overview Darcel. I really enjoyed watching it but their "expert" was an idiot.I'm an unschooler – though my baby is only 1 year old! I've known I wanted to homeschool since I was a little girl and when I got my degree in education I was sure I wanted to focus on holistic learning and not "schooling" at home. Can't wait to actually get started – although with unschooling it is kind of what most people do birth-3 anyways. Just LIVE and LEARN as humans were meant to.I also have my placenta in the freezer to plant some day. I want Aellyn to be old enough to remember. I was glad they showed that.Overall I feel like none of those families were "radical" at all! The show didn't really delve into the facts either it was more "look at this!"

  8. >Darcel, that'a really good review of the show, thanks!I've been involved with infant potty training or ec for over 30 years. We used it with our third child and really enjoyed the communication, plus we finished sooner and needed fewer diapers. And now 30 years later, our grandchild is using it too. Here are some links if anyone wants to read more about ec:http://www.TimL.com/ipthttp://www.pottywhisperer.comhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_potty_training_method

  9. >Michelle – I completely get what your saying, but not everyone is Christian, or reads the bible. We are Christian, but my husband helps with laundry from time to time. He even sweeps and mops the floors. I take out the trash sometimes. We work together. That's how our house runs.Melodie – They were pretty radical. Unschooling isn't just about education, it's a lifestyle. Day in and day out. I knew unschooling would get hit really hard, but I also think it's a positive thing. Hopefully it will lead others to really research and find out what it's all about.

  10. >I posted on this too. It was a bit sensational but I also think they picked some more extreme examples of "radical" parents who practice unschooling and AP. The Feminist Breeder's family ended up appearing the most normal of the three. Good for her, but sad for the other two. I applied for being the AP family myself and I assume we didn't get a second glance because we don't do EC. But who knows. I am very interested in unschooling but the way it was portrayed/the way the Parent family unschools put me off and I'm sure it probably put other families off too. yes, we can all do it our own way but for anyone new to the unschooling concept was probably floored by some of this family's way of doing things. I know I disagreed with a lot of it, even though unschooling appeals to me.

  11. >Great Post! We did everything with ours except the elimination communication.I crochet baby blankets for expectant mothers and I'd love to make you one. Do you know if your having a girl or a boy? What's your fav colors for baby? Send me your info to lakisa_muhammad@yahoo.com.

  12. >I didnt see it, but I'm interested. I can tell you that it would make me mad though. LOL.The only thing I disagree with is the gender neutral parenting. THe Bible tells us our places. Nothing at all wrong with letting boys play with dolls, or girls play with trucks, but boys and girls ARE different. studies have shown that! The bible teaches that we have different roles. That's all i mean.

  13. >Aw, I missed the special last night. It sounds like I would've been yelling at my tv though from how you described that "expert." Then again, I expect Discovery Health and other similar channels to present these topics in a sensational light.

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