Answers Are Sacred

1601082_10153940345988070_5013638905340979898_nWe’ve been conditioned by society to obey and answer questions. However, we never have to do this. I am offering you a perspective on this that you may have never considered before. Just because someone asks you a question about your Unschooling life, does not mean you are ever obligated to answer. You can use the “pass the bean dip” response, which was first written about by Joanne Ketch. Joanne writes:

“The “Bean Dip Response” is best used when you do not wish to defend or engage with a person over a parenting choice. If you are discussing issues with a person and you welcome their feedback, the Bean Dip Response is not needed.  I’ve found new moms often confuse boundaries and trying to convince someone of the rightness of their choices. The best thing is to assert your boundary and not try to defend your choice. Parenting choices should be on a “need to know” basis. Most people don’t “need to know”.  If asked “how is the baby sleeping?” Answer: Great! Thanks for asking! Want some bean dip?”

Be joyfully vague when it comes to others asking you how your child is doing with Unschooling or with any aspect of your life, living a freedom-based paradigm. Unless someone is truly interested, avoid questions, and maintain a positive attitude, if possible and ask them something about themselves. Shift the focus and remember, when someone asks you a question, never feel as though you are obligated to answer. My children’s lives are sacred. Someone needs to authentically earn the right to hear about their lives and our reasons for parenting the way we do. It is not something that I offer up to just anyone.

Part of shifting to a partnership-based paradigm is to begin taking back your power that you’ve given away to others for much of your life through the conditioning that many of us received growing up. It isn’t impolite to not answer, and in fact, If the person asking you details in a way that feels judgmental or negative, they are the one who is being impolite.Take the high road and take back your power. Smile and kindly share how wonderfully your family is doing and offer to send them a few links to better understand Unschooling philosophy if they truly want to learn about it. Other than that, focus on what you have in common with them, and initiate discussion about that. Answers about your life are sacred and personal. You don’t owe anyone anything other than what you wish to share. You never need to defend your choices to anyone and, in fact, doing so is stepping into an energetic engagement that is usually negative. Byron Katie says, “Defense is the first act of war.” I truly believe this, even as a public advocate. If I invite you in to ask me questions or if I accept an invitation to do so, I am happy to answer authentically. Other than that, I am not seeking your approval so please don’t give me your opinion.

Peace & Love, Dayna


  1. Thank you for sharing! What a great reminder. We don’t have to explain our lives to anyone.

  2. Thank you so much Dayna, love this article! Perfect timing and a great reminder to focus on the happiness this life choice brings! ♥♥♥ Thank you!!

  3. It never occurred to me that I don’t have to answer questions. More deschooling required, thank you 🙂

  4. LOVE this! Always used to wonder how to respond 🙂 xoxo

  5. Margaret Wallace says

    Dayna, thank you for this wisdom. In company, often at social gatherings, often one can feel cornered if the company at large may feel ‘threatened’, by your chioce of living. Whether the subject is the way you eat, or one’s anti war stance, people often throw in words like, it’s natural, it’s normal, to make your way of life sound unnatural or gimmicky.

    The power of answering without being ‘defensive’ is truely liberating. Not asking for another’s approval is also a powerful mental paradigm shift, that gives you leverage on how you want to take the course of the discussion.

    Thank you for your thoughtful words. As usual your peacefulness and calmness lift me.

    • Thank you!
      I learned this perspective when other people ask why we don’t vaccinate. I’ve learned to say that it’s impossible to summarize 20 years of the things I’ve read, experiences I’ve had, things other moms have experienced with their children, conferences I’ve gone to with doctors speaking to this subject, ect. It takes the pressure off of me to “explain” my choice.

      This is all resurfacing again with my husband being opposed to the unschooling philosophy and I’m struggling to find the answers. Thank you for reminding me to take my power back! I want what’s best for my kids and I trust and respect them.

      I wonder if I prompted this article/crossed a boundary by “expecting” you or Joe to help me with these answers when I tagged you guys on a recent post. I hope my desperate search for answers did not offend you…. I admire your strength and assumed you would have an “easy” answer for the “how will they get a high school diploma?” And other related questions. My search for answers continues…

      As an empath, my heart feels broken as I work through this next level of stuff.

      Thank you for sharing all that you do! I appreciate you!

      Light & Love,
      Tammy 💜

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