Freedom Is Not Unparenting!

Freedom does not mean uninvolvement in a child’s life. That is neglect. Freedom is choices, respect and honoring each person’s individual path with connected support, love and nurturing. This is at the heart of Radical Unschooling!

Often times when I am working with parents who are learning about Unschooling, they share what isn’t working for them from their parenting “tool box”.  They share that punishments aren’t working and comment on how damaging they are for the parent/child relationship.

When a parent knows what they do not want to do, but has no idea what to do it the place of punishments, they sometimes feel like Unschooling is not doing anything at all. Nothing could be further from the truth! Radical Unschooling is a very hands-on approach and it is not but un-parenting! Unschooling is certainly not for the lazy parent!  Rules and punishments are very easy in comparison to how we choose to live our lives in partnership with our children through Radical Unschooling!

Shifting from control to connection takes patience, love and a willingness to rethink everything you thought you knew. It takes courage to see that there is another way – a better way to raise children! Unschooling is the greatest gift that a parent could ever give a child and I am so grateful to be walking this amazing path, hand in hand with my children!



  1. God Bless You…. I think you may have just saved our stressed out little lives. I’ve spent years trying to be and organized, put together, rule oriented mother….and the whole time fighting my natural instinct to just chill out and let my kids experience living, not living under my rule. So I’ve gone back in forth from being overly strict, to plain beat up and giving up……when I should have been in that middle ground, and just enjoying my babies. My poor son who is now 7 is so frusterated in life because he can’t read yet, hates it right now, and I do too, because we are fighting everyday trying to make him suitable for his age. Well, I’m gonna go read your book, try to connect with this idea of unschooling and maybe just love my son for who he is…thank you.

  2. Dayna,
    I love reading about your connection with your children and am trying to find the right way for my family. I have been using punishment and I don’t like it. Its not going well and seeing my girls imatate me to each other just sucks for lack of a better word. It really struck home with me when you talked about power struggles…that is exactly it…the problem. I just haven’t figured out yet how to end them. And when one starts I end up so angry (as do my girls) and I don’t want to feel that way towards them. I am going to keep reading and keep trying different things. I enjoy your insight, thank you.

    • Hi Melissa, Thank you for visiting my website!
      I offer one on one Radical Unschooling consultations with parents through Skype or by phone. I am happy to help you in how to end power struggles. I know I can help. My book, Radical Unschooling, also addresses this topic in depth. Thank you again for visiting!

  3. Hear hear! Excellent points (especially about rules/punishments being easy compared to what w do) but a lot of people that I talk to (myself included) use the term ‘un-parenting’ to describe parents who use or view unschooling as a way to not parent – intentionally or not. Somehow unschooling absolves them from having to actually do things when parental action is warranted or allows them to ignore common sense in general. Examples: conferences in hotels where some kids are running around very loudly at 10pm; toddlers walking around with no parent in sight, etc.

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